WFOT Public Statement: Occupational therapy and rehabilitation of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has a profound impact on the lives, health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities worldwide. As a professional organisation representing over 550,000 occupational therapists around the world, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) recognises the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for how people engage in their daily activities and occupations as result of disruptive changes in community access, resource availability and individual health and well-being. Populations around the world have been required to adjust and make compensations to usual routines in order to participate in ongoing or newly acquired occupations that are necessary for daily life.
Occupational therapy offers a broad variety of rehabilitation services to people of all ages, groups and communities affected by COVID-19 to enable their full inclusion in occupations in the home, education, work and leisure environment. Engagement in healthy occupations is needed to support survival, promote health and well-being and allow populations, communities, families and individuals to grow and flourish to realise their potential. Occupational therapists enable people to be active and productive in their community by using evidence-informed individual and population approach interventions, including skills training, education, group work and self-management strategies. Interventions reduce barriers impacting the mental, physical and cognitive health of people, their occupations and the environment in which they operate to promote meaningful lives where they live, love, work and play.