Date Presented 04/22/2023
Many older adults live with chronic conditions. This scoping review found that OT intervention contributed to improved health management, health outcomes, and quality of life in adults with chronic disease in primary care settings.
Primary Author and Speaker: Kristen Rooker
BACKGROUND: A majority of older adults live with chronic conditions in the United States and our healthcare system does not adequately support individual management.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this scoping review was to determine if adding occupational therapy to the traditional primary care model improves health outcomes and quality of life in older adults with chronic disease.
DESIGN: This scoping review was conducted by one researcher. Inclusion criteria for the study included: studies that examined OT intervention in primary care with older adults (aged 65 and older) with chronic conditions, were published from 2014 to 2022, and the articles were published in English. The author searched PubMed, CINHAL, and Google Scholar.
RESULTS: A total of 250 articles were found, and twelve articles met inclusion criteria. The literature found occupational therapy’s role remains broad and undefined, but occupational therapy interventions have a positive impact on older adult health outcomes. Evidence supports interventions that target health behavior change, health promotion, and medication management. Additionally, therapists in primary care settings used numerous outcome measures.
CONCLUSION: Occupational therapy intervention in primary care was found to improve health management, health outcomes, and quality of life in older adults with chronic disease. However, further rigorous research is needed to further define the scope of practice and valid and reliable outcome measures.
IMPACT STATEMENT: Occupational therapy has a distinct role in primary care to promote health, managing chronic conditions, and implement Lifestyle Redesign programs beyond what a medical doctor can provide. This relates to practice and policy as it is an emerging practice area that needs advocacy for reimbursement.
Berger, S., Escher, A., Mengle, E., & Sullivan, N. (2018). Effectiveness of health promotion, management, and maintenance interventions within the scope of occupational therapy for community-dwelling older adults: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72, 7204190010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.030346
Fields, B. (2021). Evidence Connection—Occupational therapy interventions for older adults with chronic conditions and their care partners. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75, 7506390010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.049294
Mirza, M., Gecht-Silver, M., Keating, E., Krischer, A., Kim, H., & Kottorp, A. (2020). Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an occupational therapy intervention for older adults with chronic conditions in a primary care clinic. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(5), 7405205030p1–7405205030p13. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.039842
Pyatak, E., King, M., Vigen, C. L. P., Salazar, E., Diaz, J., Schepens Niemiec, S. L., Blanchard, J., Jordan, K., Banerjee, J., & Shukla, J. (2019). Addressing diabetes in primary care: Hybrid effectiveness–implementation study of lifestyle redesign occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(5), 7305185020.https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.037317