Occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy is the set of techniques that, through activities applied for therapeutic purposes, maintains health, promotes restoration of function, supplies the deficiencies of disability and assesses behavioural assumptions to achieve the independence and integration of the individual in all his aspects: labour, mental, physical and social. (WHO).

The therapeutic use of activity and movement began with the earliest civilizations such as Egypt or Greece, where figures like Pythagoras acted to cure the illnesses of the body and mind.


Spaniards were pioneers in the Middle Ages with the creation of a Hospital in Valencia (1409) to support the mentally ill, or in Zaragoza, where they built the Hospital Nuestra Señora de Gracia (1425), where treatments were applied through working-occupational  therapy.

The Occupational Therapist will provide services to people with a problem that hinders the effective performance of their occupation, or in the development of their normal life activity, focusing on promoting physical and mental activity and autonomy in the person's ordinary life.

The Occupational Therapist is part of the interdisciplinary team of the centre.

In health care centres, practices primarily applied are:

  Practices focused on the Person.

  These practices help the patient to take control of himself.

  Practices focused on the activity or occupation.

  They are practices, where the patient is identified with his own activity or occupation.

The Occupational Therapist in a Social-Health Centre is primarily focused on areas such as hygiene, prevention of falls, avoid complications from inactivity such as muscular atrophy or pressure ulcers, encouraging patient participation in leisure and free-time activities.