BlogOccupational TherapyOT Functional Assessments Explained

OT Functional Assessments Explained


What is an OT functional assessment?

An Occupational Therapy (OT) functional assessment plays a vital role in assisting you in reaching the goals set for your improvement. This assessment serves to evaluate your daily functioning level and enables the therapist to gain a comprehensive understanding of both your weaknesses and strengths. By determining your capabilities and limitations, the therapist can effectively identify the areas that require the most attention. This evaluation is typically employed in cases involving disability, injury, or illness.

The primary objective of a functional assessment is to provide a clear depiction of your current condition and to then facilitate the development of a tailored action plan that aligns with your goals and overall functioning. For occupational therapy, a functional assessment serves as an excellent starting point for the therapist.

What does an OT functional assessment involve?

The OT functional assessment serves the purpose of evaluating an individual’s capacity to perform a range of physical and/or cognitive tasks and daily activities. As each person is unique, the assessment will vary accordingly. However, at its core, the OT explores the following aspects:

  • Daily task management: This includes assessing your ability to independently carry out activities like dressing, bathing, grooming, and monitoring sleep and nutrition. It provides insights into any challenges that may impact your performance in these areas.
  • Home management skills: The assessment examines your capability to handle tasks such as meal preparation, shopping, laundry, cleaning, bill management, and budgeting. It identifies any difficulties you may encounter within your home environment.
  • Community mobility: This aspect focuses on your proficiency in navigating community settings, such as going to the shops, bank, doctor’s appointments, and engaging in other community-based activities. It considers your ability to use transportation systems like driving or public transport.
  • Social and recreational engagement: The assessment gauges your involvement in social activities, hobbies, and exercise. It evaluates your willingness and confidence in interacting with the community.
  • Mobility and physical abilities: Here they look at your mobility skills, including walking, climbing, and using mobility aids. The assessment assesses your independence in movement.
  • Communication skills: The evaluation encompasses your proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and other forms of communication.
  • Work-related tasks: This includes evaluating your capacity to perform specific job-related activities, such as lifting, carrying, and operating machinery in labour-intensive environments, or tasks like typing, walking, and standing in office settings.
  • Cognitive performance: The assessment observes your response to cognitive activities, such as tasks involving thinking, memory, and decision-making.

By examining these areas, the OT functional assessment provides a comprehensive understanding of your abilities and limitations, enabling the development of an effective intervention plan tailored to your needs.

Undergoing an OT functional assessment can be instrumental in obtaining the necessary funding to support your goals. It usually takes around 1 – 4 hours to complete the assessment but this can vary depending on how complex the evaluation is. Contact our friendly team today if you need some assistance with this and we’ll happily answer any questions you might have.

RAR Therapy provides a range of therapy services, including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Behaviour Support and Allied Health Assistance and Speech Pathology. Our approach is flexible, individualised, and responsive to the needs of our clients and their families. Our team of passionate health professionals visit locations across regional and metro Queensland, delivering services in-home, in local clinics and at schools. We provide outreach services across Queensland.