Trends and Contexts in Occupational Therapy

Trends and Contexts in Occupational Therapy


Trends are a something (like a style of therapeutic practice) that is popular at the moment. Example:

  • mindfulness
  • adult colouring books
  • active ageing
  • life stories
  • use of Sensory Integration in settings other than paediatrics
  • paternalism being challenged
  • holistic approach to health
  • in society, being in debt is acceptable whereas in the past it wasn’t

Contexts are the circumstances that influence or affect something (like a trend):

  • Politics and the resulting government policies on access to services and funding
  • the culture
  • the attitudes of individual therapists


Contexts in healthcare are often influenced by political and legislation, because in the UK healthcare is funded by the government because we have the NHS. In other countries where healthcare is paid for by insurance or individuals consumers, it may be be more heavily influenced by these other factors?  Anyway, in the UK the Care Act (2014) is a recent policy that supersedes the previous health-related acts such as NHS act (2006). Because of what the Care Act (2014) states, some expected trends to happen in healthcare will be

  • integration of services:
    • health and social care working more closely
    • between hospitals and GPS (primary & secondary care)
    • between mental and physical care