The Effectiveness of Community-Based Occupational Therapy Education and Functional Training Programs for Older Adults: A Critical Literature Review Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background. This paper examines the results of a critical literature review describing the provision of education and functional training programs by occupational therapists with older adults to maximize their occupational performance. Purpose. The critical review addressed the following question: What is the effectiveness of education and functional training programs in improving occupational performance and quality of life for older adults? Review methods are described and the outcomes of the critical review discussed. Results. The results indicate that there is evidence that programs are effective in three areas: prevention of functional decline and falls, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis. Methodological limitations exist in some studies. There are several randomized controlled studies in this area, though the description of specific occupational therapy interventions is often vague and the programs could not be easily duplicated by occupational therapists. Practice implications. Occupational therapists are provided with information through this critical review to facilitate evidence-based practice when working with older adults.


  • Wilkins, Seanne
  • Jung, Bonny
  • Wishart, Laurie
  • Edwards, Mary
  • Norton, Shelley Gamble

publication date

  • October 2003

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