Occupational Therapy Frames of Reference

Occupational therapy, much like any other field in health care is a development on lots and lots of theory that has been applied to practical use.

All occupational therapy that is carried out is governed by a set of rules and theoretical concepts and in order to make a successful therapist, the individual needs to have a full grip knowledge about the theory. Many peoples or researchers are using past people’s experience and relatives subject to understanding OT in a better way. It’s a phenomenon based on experience. For example, an Autism Child can be cure through therapist past experience and observation.

In these frames, you will also clear your concept regarding Physical Therapy VS. Occupational.

The Occupational Therapy Frames of Reference will directly depend on Rehabilitative, Neuro-Developmental, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, and Biomechanical techniques.

Note: We will discuss these techniques in further topics

Fundamentals of Occupational Frames of Reference

This theory of health care sciences is based on research nowadays and it helps discover newer and better techniques for treating patients. Researchers designed the baseline for others, regarding more assessment, interventions, and evaluation of particular phenomena.

  1. Biomechanical Frame of Reference
  2. Rehabilitative
  3. Neurofunctional
  4. Dynamic Systems Theory
  5. Client-Centered Frame of Reference
  6. Cognitive-behavioral Frame of Reference
  7. Ecology of Human Performance Model
  8. The Recovery Model
  9. MOHO

Occupational Therapy Frames of Reference

An occupational therapist also uses this theory to treat patients, but the theory is not directly applied, it is done by using an OT frame of reference.

  1. Understanding occupational therapy Functions
  2. Assessment and Preparation of Phenomena
  3. Target your Goal or Define Goal
  4. Interventions
  5. Evaluation
  6. Relate with other Phenomena
  7. Professional practice
  8. Clinical service development

Occupational therapy has numerous frames of reference and the primary use of a frame of reference is that it gives practicality to OT theory.

Here are the five most important components of the Occupational Therapy Frames of Reference.

How to Start Any Practice Basis on Frame of Reference?

So, make sure about these step, you may you call Table of content before implement practice. I explain one of Frame of reference been using a pediatric occupational therapist.

Analyses and Make a List

First of all, for a better clear concept about any phenomena start from scratch or Zero. You define Own rules regarding step by step describing or analyzing the subject.

Describe the Phenomena

Simply describe the practice in summarize form. You can say Summary of topic likewise.

Community Engage

Discuss this practice to other therapist and get their analysis and observation on it. Record and track every little aspect.

Strategy Implement

Define goal and make strategy towards achieving that goal.


Lastly, Everything should be n record from step 1, you may go towards scratch again and again during your practice.

Functions of Frames of reference in Occupational Therapy

Basic Functions you need to understand one by one.

Theoretical Base

A theoretical base study the fundamental link between theory, an assumption and its consequences.

A theoretical base is used by an occupational therapist before intervention to study the causes and effect of the intervention.

If a treatment seems reasonable, only then is it carried out.

Dysfunction Continua

A function continuum is that part of the body that refers to the abilities of a patient, these parts of the body are ones that are not problematic.

On the other hand, is Dysfunction continuum, which refers to those parts of the body which refer to the disabilities of a patient.

Once a theoretical base step has been carried out by an OT, different parts of the body are segregated as either functional continuum or dysfunctional continuum.

Once this segregation is made, the second component of frames of reference is complete.

Guide for Evaluation

Next, an occupational therapist needs to make an evaluation that will direct the intervention to give meaningful results.

A complete analysis is done on the patient. This may be carried out either through tests, standardized tools, and customized tools in case of specific patients.

This evaluation is the baseline in which the occupational therapist realizes the exact disabilities in the disabilities continuum.

This step is an important protocol without which an occupational therapy treatment would lose direction and would become quite redundant.

Postulates Regarding Change

Once treatment starts, the patient may or may be experiencing change. If the patient has advanced to a different level of treatment during the process, the original procedure itself needs to be changed.

This change is made because the differences in the patient’s health need to be accommodated.

This is also known as the Cause-Effect phenomenon and it is entirely based on the theoretical base step because the theory and the understanding of the patient’s condition lead to assumptions about the effects of the treatment.

Postulates regarding Intervention

Intervention needs to be changed once a change in the patient is recognized. This step determines how theory is related to the process of occupational therapy to accommodate the patient’s improved or reduced condition.

Occupation Therapy Focused Models

Many Therapist Design Models basis of thousands of clinical practice, you just need to use it and carry on your research on any phenomena.

  1. Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model
  2. Occupational Performance Process Model (OPPM)
  3. Model of Human Occupation (MOHO)
  4. Occupational Performances Model
  5. Kawa

Does the question be which occupational therapy model best suited for my Client? Which model directly emphasis on my client’s environment?

Starter therapist can’t direct implement any one frame of reference due to lack of experience. They must use multiple frames in their research.


Model of Human Occupation (MOHO):

The main and fundamental model has been using a different therapist for many tears. In this model understand the difference between client and their environment. How did they feel environment? The basis of the different analysis, you can record their judgment easily. Make sure every client ID different, so you can’t use the same frame of reference to all.


Those therapists who have enough psychology experience, or you can say those who have a Bachelor degree in Phycology and then Master in Occupational therapy. Those therapists use this type of frame of reference, and this one is the most popular type after MOHO.

Cognitive Disabilities Model

In this theory, practice framework depends on the particular client main disability factor, for example, Autism child.

The sample of Frames of Reference (Ask Us)

In addition, For more detail on the topic and want the clear concept of frames of reference, you can comment us and ask for example in occupational therapy. We can also give you some PDF for in-depth understanding.