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Practice Guidelines

Based on findings of systematic reviews, topic specific Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines define the occupational therapy domain and process and interventions that occur within the boundaries of acceptable practice. The guidelines can be a useful tool for improving the quality of health care, enhancing consumer satisfaction, promoting appropriate use of services, and reducing costs. AOTA is committed to providing information to support decision making that promotes a high-quality health care system that is affordable and accessible to all.

All AOTA Practice Guidelines have either been accepted by or are in the process of being reviewed for AHRQ's National Guideline Clearinghouse, an online database of thousands of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that adhere to the IOM standards for trustworthiness and supports AHRQ's mission to make health care safer, of higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable

The Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines may be used in the following ways:

  • To assist occupational therapy practitioners in providing evidence-based interventions and communicating about their services to external audiences
  • To assist external audiences in understanding the scope of occupational therapy services and; the professional education, training, and skills of occupational therapy practitioners; and determining the need  for occupational therapy services
  • To assist researchers, occupational therapy practitioners, program evaluators, and policy analysts in determining outcome measures for analyzing the effectiveness of occupational therapy intervention
  • To assist occupational therapy educators in designing curricula that incorporate evidence-based findings from the published literature
  • To assist researchers in determining areas for future research and gathering background research on a topic of interest.

Adult Practice Guidelines

Cover of Book: Home Modification

Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions

Adults With Musculoskeletal Conditions 

Adults With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Neurocognitive Disorders

Cancer Rehabilitation With Adults

Home Modifications

Adults with Neurodegenerative Diseases

Adults with Low Vision

Adults with Serious Mental Illness

Productive Aging for Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Adults With Traumatic Brain Injury

Adults With Stroke

Driving and Community Mobility for Older Adults


Children Practice Guidelines

Cover of Book: Mental Health Practice Guidelines

Early Childhood: Birth Through 5 Years

Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention for Children and Youth

Children and Adolescents With Challenges in Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder