Opportunities for occupational therapy to serve as a catalyst for culture change in nursing facilities

Document Type


Publication Date



Health Sciences

Publication Title

American Journal of Occupational Therapy


Ensuring that older adults are receiving quality and effective rehabilitation and skilled nursing services must be a priority to society and to the health care system, but health care policies and systems driving reimbursement continue to challenge the delivery of services. A review of the literature indicates significant problems among residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) that could be alleviated by meaningful occupational therapy. Research and practice in the occupational therapy community should focus on this large area of practice. Advocacy by individual practitioners—challenging themselves and others to provide more patient-centered care—can lead to changes that benefit clients, facilities, and payment systems as well as contribute to career satisfaction of occupational therapy practitioners. Occupational therapy can and should serve as catalyst for culture change in SNFs by providing meaningful interventions and opportunities that support engagement and health.

Link to Published Version