Rehabilitative Frame of Reference

In layman terms, rehabilitation is the process of restoring health back to normal after a disability or health loss. Occupational therapist us this method for improving or restoring maximum patient activity in daily life.

However, in OT, rehabilitation accounts for restoring health back to normal along with compensating for the health that cannot be restored. In general, rehabilitation in occupational therapy is either achieved through the biomechanical frame of reference or the developmental frame of reference.

Review OT Frames of Reference in detail

  1. It’s an adaptation strategy
  2. Alzheimer Patient much improvement through this strategy

What is Rehabilitative Frame of Reference?

However, in most cases, occupational therapy is brought into action when a patient has a disability due to which their occupational roles are affected. This effect is normalized by aiding them. The aid includes tools that assist the patient in their everyday lives and an occupational therapist sets up an environment for the patient to recover in whilst performing their occupational roles as effectively as possible.

Rehabilitative Frame of Reference

The key factor to analysis, what type of assessment tools being utilizing nowadays for improving environmental modification for the patient.

However, the FOR focuses on the recovery of a patient as well. For this, the most important part is to provide a patient with an environment that is meant to rehabilitate them.

This is done in rehabilitation programs that aim to help patient normalize their disability while being treated in an extremely natural environment. These programs are not carried out in seclusion but rather in teams which are part of the program led by an occupational therapist.

However, rehabilitation, as mentioned above has a different meaning in occupational therapy as compared to the conventional term. Certain assumptions are made beforehand.

Assumptions in Rehabilitative Frame of Reference

The following assumptions are made prior to the initiation of an intervention (before the program begins)

  1. A person with a disability can carry out their occupational roles with independence if their disability is compensated for by customized tools.
  2. A patient is motivated to regain independence in their everyday activities. This is demonstrated by a keen interest of the patient for the program.
  3. A patient has sufficient financial support and family backing to get them through the program.
  4. A person does not need high levels of cognitive or emotional intelligence to make the program a success for them, the program can help just about anyone and everyone if other pre-requisites are met.

Intervention Strategies Used by Occupational therapist

During an intervention, an occupational therapist has to analyze a patient to see where exactly they need help and for what occupational roles.

To rehabilitate a patient, an OT needs to figure out the functioning and dysfunction continue and then needs to plan accordingly.

An occupational therapist is interested in the roles that a patient is unable to perform independently. These can include work and leisure roles including watching TV, using the bathroom climbing the stairs and driving.


Assessment includes a complete analysis of a patient for their disabilities in order to devise an intervention.

This assessment is carried out through a number of test activities.

Intervention and Change

Once a problem has been addressed, the next step to rehabilitation is the intervention in which a rehabilitation methodology is devised and after the treatment is underway, change is observed.

This observation leads to a change in the intervention process.

Related Frames:

  1. Mental health Frames