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Preparing for the Future: Current trends, occupational therapy and the role of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Claudia von Zweck, PhD, OT (c) May 14, 2007. Identify current trends Review implications for occupational therapy

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Preparing for the Future:

Current trends, occupational therapy and

the role of the

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Claudia von Zweck, PhD, OT (c)

May 14, 2007

Identify current trends

Review implications for occupational therapy

Promote practice strategies

Discuss role of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)


Role of a professional association

  • Information and resources
  • Membership services
  • Advocacy and representation
  • Professional standards
reviews factors influencing practice used for monitoring and planning

Environmental Scan:

Reviews factors

influencing practice

Used for monitoring

and planning


P olitical

  • E conomic
  • S ocial
  • T echnological


political priorities

Shaped by public opinion

Health Environment

Political Priorities:

political priorities1

Wait time strategies:

  • - Cancer
  • - Heart
  • - Joint replacements
  • - Diagnostic imaging
  • - Sight restoration

Political Priorities:



Accountability measures difficult to implement

Greater recognition of rehabilitation e.g. joint replacement specialty teams

Concern for health problems outside of priorities

political priorities2

Collaborative patient-centred care

  • - Promotes active participation of all disciplines
  • - Enhances patient and family-centred goals
  • - Provides communication mechanisms
  • - Optimizes collaborative decision-making
  • - Fosters respect for all professions

Political Priorities:



Emphasis on interprofessional education

Promotion of team-based approach (e.g. primary health care)

Potential for increased role of occupational therapy

caot interdisciplinary national projects

Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in

Primary Health Care

Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative

Occupational Therapy Primary Health Care

Planning Tool

Accreditation of Collaborative Practice


CAOT Interdisciplinary National Projects

political priorities3

3. Health Human Resource Planning:

- Shortages reported by many disciplines

- Little long term planning

- Educating, deploying takes years

Political Priorities:

distribution of workforce varies among provinces lags behind other countries e g denmark sweden uk

Occupational Therapy:

- Distribution of workforce varies among provinces

- Lags behind other countries e.g. Denmark, Sweden, UK

caot initiatives

National Occupational Therapy Human

  • Resources Plan
  • National Occupational Therapist Database
  • Project
  • - Government advocacy

CAOT Initiatives

political priorities4

4. Foreign Credential Recognition

Immigration needed for:

- Social and cultural diversity

- Stimulating economic growth

- Compensate for aging and retiring


100% of labour force growth from immigration by 2012 (Citizenship and Immigration, 2003)

Political Priorities:


Occupational Therapy:

Workforce Integration Project

- Identified issues influencing the ability of international graduates to work in Canada

- Provided recommendations


Reasons for Marginalization:

Long wait list to come to Canada

Difficulty accessing information

Failure to meet academic credentialing requirements

Failure to complete academic upgrading

Failure to meet language requirements

Problems with passing certification examination

Difficulty understanding Canadian practice

Problems with linking with employers, occupational therapists, and professional resources

Inability to find employment

Discriminatory practices

Coordinate and centralize registration requirements and process for working as an occupational therapist

Improve national certification examination access, preparation resources and assistance

Provide clear and accessible information to help international graduates to work in Canada

Increase access to academic upgrading and language training to help international graduates meet registration requirements

Help international graduates become linked with employers, occupational therapists and professional resources

Advocate for the need for internationally educated occupational therapists in Canada

Promote a diverse workforce for quality occupational therapy services


Follow-up Projects:

- Pan-Canadian Orientation Program to the Health Care System

- Plain language translation and shortening of national certification exam

- Access and Registration Framework Project

political priorities5

5. Armed Services

- Increased commitment to role in armed conflict

- Increased military spending

Political Priorities:



- Origin of profession in working with WWI veterans

- Little current involvement of occupational therapy in military health service


P olitical

  • E conomic
  • S ocial
  • T echnological


globalizing economy slowing productivity growth demand for accountability increasing competition

Economic Factors:

- Globalizing economy

- Slowing productivity growth

- Demand for accountability

- Increasing competition



Development of international standards e.g. for professional mobility, quality of service

Expected use of evidence in practice

Need to demonstrate value in economic terms

caot initiatives1

- Enabling Occupation II

  • Revised Profile of Occupational Therapy
  • Practice in Canada
  • - Economic review of occupational therapy

CAOT Initiatives


P olitical

  • E conomic
  • S ocial
  • T echnological



Social Factors:

- Dependence on immigration

- Increasing diversity

- Aging population:

- longer lifespan

- more age-related problems

- more demanding for quality of life

- less care-givers



1 in 3 Canadian over 65 fall each year

Most frequent cause of injury in older adults

- 90% of hip fractures

- 40% of LTC admissions

20% falls reduction equals:

- 7,500 fewer hospitalizations

- 1800 fewer disabled older adults

- $138 million savings

tools for living well post fall review stable able and strong

CAOT Projects:

Tools for Living Well

Post-fall Review

Stable Able and Strong

promoting mobility and participation of older adults safety of drivers general public

Public Health Issues and Older Drivers:

Promoting mobility and

participation of older


Safety of:

- drivers

- general public


Older Drivers:

Driving incidents

leading cause of accidental

deaths (65-74 years)

Fatality rate >85 years

9 times 25-65 year olds



Build capacity in occupational therapy for:

- Screening

- Driver assessment and remediation

- Complex driving interventions


CAOT initiatives:

Expert panel recommendations to ON chief


Review of Canadian legislation and


National Blueprint for Injury Prevention in

Older Drivers

universal design housing low vision interventions retirement planning

Other impact of aging population:

- Universal design housing

- Low vision interventions

- Retirement planning


P olitical

  • E conomic
  • S ocial
  • T echnological



Technological Factors:

Continued rapid change



Improved service access

(e.g. telehealth)

Increased information access

(e.g. electronic health record)

More effective interventions

(e.g. assistive technology)



Increased role of occupational therapy:

- Implementation

(e.g. low vision aids)

- Research and design

Ethical and privacy issues


Practice Strategies:

1. Remain aware of the context of your practice:

Become informed

Understand impact of

PEST factors

Optimize opportunities

(e.g. become involved)


Practice Strategies:

2. Promote quality standards:

- Understand expectations

of practice

- Recognize and address ethical


- Use continuous improvement



Regulatory Requirements

Occupational therapists are regulated health professionals in all ten provinces.

Candidates must meet regulatory requirements to practice and/or use the title "occupational therapist".

Contact information for regulatory organizations is listed on


National Certification Examination

Developed and administered by CAOT

Required for entry to practice in most provinces


Professional Liability Insurance

Protects you as a professional

Regulatory requirement in several provinces

Provides payment for damages arising out of the rendering or failure to render professional services


Practice Strategies:

3. Engage in life-long learning:

- Understand and address

own learning needs

- Contribute to learning

of others

(e.g. mentoring)


Professional Development

Webinar presentations

On-line courses


Self study series


Practice Strategies:

4. Create and use research evidence in practice:

- Define practice based

on evidence

- Promote knowledge translation

(e.g. journal clubs)

- Evaluate cost-effectiveness


Practice Strategies:

5. Promote teamwork skills:

- Contribute as valued

team member

- Demonstrate collaborative

approach based on respect

6 embrace diversity address ethno cultural issues promote a diverse workforce

Practice Strategies:

6. Embrace diversity:

- Address ethno-cultural


- Promote a diverse



Practice Strategies:

7. Increase awareness of value of occupational therapy:

- Promote the link between

occupation and health

- Ensure understanding

of your role in promoting

healthy occupation