A study on employing occupation during intervention by occupational therapists in Isfahan and Tehran, Iran

Document Type : Original Articles


1 MSc of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 PhD, Pediatrics Neurorehabilitation Research Center, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Lecturer, Academic Member, School of Rehabilitation Sciences and Musculoskeletal Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran



Introduction: Occupation includes daily tasks and purposeful activities in which people engage to fulfill their individual or subjective values. Occupation comprises the core concept of occupational therapy. Through facilitating participation in occupation, occupational therapists provide an opportunity for an individual to develop and increase his/her independency. Given the importance of occupation in occupational therapy and the lack of research on occupation in Iran, this question then arise that how much are occupational therapists committed to use occupation in their interventions in Iran? This study compared the application of occupation in interventions used by American and Iranian occupational therapists.Materials and Methods: The instrument used in this Quantitative survey study was a modified version of “Scale of Therapeutic Occupation” developed by Sass and Nelson in 1998. A sample of occupational therapists, who were registered in Iranian Occupational Therapy Association or the Medical Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran and working in of Isfahan and Tehran cities, were recruited through accessible sampling. Data were statistically analyzed using SPSS software-version 17 at the significance level of P < 0.01.Results: 70 occupational therapists (31 male and 39 female) with an average age of 29 years participated in this study. The results compared with those obtained in Sass & Nelson’s study (1998). T values measured in this study showed that American occupational therapists applied occupation in their interventions more than did the Iranian occupational therapists studied (P = 0.000)Conclusion: According to the results of this study, there is a difference between the rate of use of occupation by American and Iranian occupational therapists; so that American occupational therapists apply occupation in their interventions more than do Iranian occupational therapists. Differences in occupational therapy history, clinical practice situation and educational context and curriculums between Iran and America are the possible reasons of the observed difference. More clinical education about occupation and providing better conditions for clinical practice seems to be essential for achieving a better status for occupational therapy in Iran.Keywords: Occupation, Occupational therapy interventions, Iranian occupational therapists, Scale of therapeutic occupation