As part of the standard 5-yr review process by the Commission on Practice (COP), the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (2nd ed.; American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2008) was revised and adopted by AOTA’s Representative Assembly in 2013. As noted in the preface to the Framework’s 3rd edition (AOTA, 2014), the document summarizes interrelated constructs that describe occupational therapy practice.
The Framework is one of AOTA’s most important documents and is widely used in education and practice. It serves as a reference for questions about practice, guides documentation, and articulates information about occupational therapy to external audiences, including other health care professionals, third-party payers, and consumers.
The Framework is ever evolving, and the latest edition has left the core document intact while incorporating updates that reflect internal and external changes to occupational therapy practice, emerging concepts, and advances in the field. Some of the key revisions are as follows:
Occupational therapy’s domain is now stated as “Achieving health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in occupation,” a statement that encompasses both domain and process.
Clients are now defined as persons, groups, and populations.
The relationship of occupational therapy to organizations has been further defined.
Consultation has been infused throughout the documents as a method of service delivery.
The interventions table has been changed to reflect additional intervention methods used in practice and to provide a clearer distinction among the interventions of occupations, activities, and preparatory techniques and tasks.
Group interventions and self-advocacy have been added to the interventions table.
Therapeutic use of self has been added to the process overview. This change has been made to ensure that practitioners understand that use of the self as a therapeutic agent is integral to the practice of occupational therapy and is used in all interactions with all clients.
Performance skills have been redefined, with a new table added to the document.
Activity demands have been removed from the domain and placed in the overview of the process to augment the discussion of the occupational therapy practitioner basic skill of activity analysis.
In addition, several minor changes have been made, including the creation of a preface and modifications to several definitions. These changes reflect member review and feedback; content experts; and consultation from theorists, researchers, and practitioners who use the Framework extensively. The 3rd edition represents the founding core beliefs and values of the profession, including occupation- and client-centered care that is based on context and informed by evidence.
The Framework is available online at http://ajot.aotapress.net as a supplement to this issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.