Population focused Occupational Therapy as an emerging area of practice. Addressing healthy ageing through enabling occupational participation; men’s sheds, technology and peer delivered health messages as project case studies

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Occupational therapy practice frameworks emphasise occupational participation in life as a means to health, wellness and quality of life not only for individuals but for communities and populations.
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the profession can contribute to addressing important population health issues through collaborative, grounded, process driven approaches each targeting short term changes contributing ultimately to broader population level health outcomes. Three innovative occupational therapy projects addressing healthy ageing are presented as examples of potential and emerging areas of practice.
• Developing community buy in to establish a committee run ‘men’s shed.’
• Utilising technology to engage socially isolated elderly in meaningful occupation.
• Consumer empowerment in delivering falls prevention health messages in home bound elderly
Methods used included an action research paradigm, community readiness principles, and program logic approaches. A process and outcomes evaluation was conducted on each project using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate program efficacy and process effectiveness.
Outcomes evaluations demonstrated that changes achieved across the projects included participant buy in, consumer knowledge and increased occupational and social engagement. Program efficiency concerning stakeholder engagement, time use and program reach varied amongst the projects, with recommendations for improvement identified. Recommendations also concerned sustainability, program improvement and ongoing evaluation of program outcomes
Population focused occupational therapy will require new conceptual practice models and tools of application These three projects together demonstrate how the profession can begin to address occupational participation with populations through collaborative, grounded, process driven, intervention approaches each targeting short term changes contributing ultimately to broader population level goals.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventOT Australia Victoria State Conference - Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 20 Dec 2017 → …


ConferenceOT Australia Victoria State Conference
Period20/12/17 → …

Cite this