Journal Club Discussion #21: OT in Primary Care

Hey readers! This week we are talking about OT in primary care. I think that there is a potential for a huge role for OT in primary care. Think about how many kiddos see their pediatrician each year, and how many opportunities that would be for an OT to see them. It would be beneficial for an OT to screen for participation in occupations such as play, education, social participation, and ADLs, as well as hitting developmental milestones, and mental health. Furthermore, this would provide a direct referral to OT from the pediatrician. Not only can OTs play a role in primary care for children, but they can for adults as well. OTs can screen for participation in occupation, mental health, medication management, healthy roles and routines, disease prevention, etc. OTs would also have the opportunity to advocate for their role on the care team and what they have to offer, which is a role that many doctors may not fully understand. Check out this article to learn more about this topic, then answer the questions below!

Discussion Questions

  1. How can OTs work in primary care to prevent chronic disease?
  2. What is OT’s role in working with individuals who have chronic conditions?
  3. What is OT’s role in primary care for pain management?
  4. What is OT’s role in primary care for mental health and/or substance abuse?
  5. What is OT’s role in primary care for pediatrics?
  6. What can we do to advocate for our role on the primary care team?
  7. What can we do to advocate for referrals for OT from primary care offices?
  8. Primary Care Physicians often ask questions about unhealthy habits, such as smoking, substance use, and drinking. What is OT’s role in working with individuals who have unhealthy habits, and how can we express this role to PCPs?
  9. Identify one action step that you can take to advocate for OT in primary care today!

Citation: Winship, J. M., Ivey, C. K., & Etz, R. S. (2019). Opportunities for occupational therapy on a primary care team. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2019.030841

Thanks for reading!

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