Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults With Chronic Conditions

Beth Fields, Stacy Smallfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Importance: Demand is increasing for occupational therapy practitioners to help the growing population of adults with chronic conditions manage their conditions. Objective: This Practice Guideline, which is informed by systematic reviews of the literature on the use of self-management interventions, is meant to guide occupational therapy practitioners’ clinical decision making when working with community-dwelling adults with chronic conditions. The chronic conditions included heart disease, chronic lung conditions, diabetes, and kidney disease. The self-management interventions addressed ADLs and sleep and rest; IADLs; education, work, volunteering, leisure, and social participation; and the caregiver role. Method: We reviewed, discussed, and integrated the clinical recommendations developed from four systematic reviews, supporting literature, and expert opinion to provide recommendations for practice. Results: A total of 102 articles were included in the systematic reviews, which served as the primary basis for the practice recommendations. Conclusions and Recommendations: Strong to moderate evidence supports clinical recommendations for the use of self-management interventions when working with clients with chronic conditions. We recommend the use of a multimodal approach that includes three components—education, goal setting, and problem solving—over an extended period to assist clients in establishing self-management habits and routines. On the basis of emerging evidence and expert opinion, we recommend that occupational therapy practitioners consider using a prevention approach, helping clients establish habits and routines, and emphasizing shared goal setting when addressing clients’ self-management of chronic conditions. What This Article Adds: This Practice Guideline provides a summary of strong to moderate evidence that supports clinical recommendations for the use of self-management interventions with clients with chronic conditions. When guided by this evidence, occupational therapy practitioners are better able to help clients meet their occupational challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7602397010
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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