Online course to expand occupational therapy practice: education and implementation of occupational therapy in primary care
MetadataShow full item record
Primary care within the United States’ health care system is evolving to address increases in chronic conditions across the lifespan that impact individuals’ daily lives, and the health care system’s performance and cost. Even as interprofessional primary care teams aim to manage a large majority of health needs over time, these teams often lack the skilled professionals necessary to address function in daily life. Occupational therapy’s distinct value as experts in evaluation and intervention for health-related occupational development, adaptation, prevention and management can address this problem. However, continued education and additional tools are necessary in order for occupational therapists to increase their knowledge of the profession’s role in primary care, increase self-efficacy in promoting occupational therapy to stakeholders, and increase self-efficacy to utilize resources for research and establishing occupational therapy in primary care settings. The proposed online course "Occupational Therapy in Primary Care: What, Why, Where, & How?" is specifically targeted to occupational therapists to addresses these outcomes. Theoretical and historical evaluation of occupational therapy in primary care in the United States and Canada supports understanding the problem and mechanisms that can help navigate efforts to include occupational therapy in primary care. Diffusion of Innovations and Adult Learning Theory guide the course’s two-phases of development and dissemination. This project is a timely contribution to the emerging area of occupational therapy in primary care that supports the Institute for Health Care Improvements’ (IHI) Triple Aim to improve the individual experience of care, health of populations and reduce per capita cost of care.