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What to expect in an Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment?

What to expect in an Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment?

Do you require an Occupational Therapy Functional assessments and you are unsure of what to expect? Are you unaware of what is involved in an Occupational Therapy (OT) Functional Assessment and why it is required?

You are certainly not alone.

Since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Occupational Therapy Functional Assessments have become a highly sought after service. However, many individuals including participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme remain uncertain around what is involved in an OT functional assessment.

This article has been completed to provide further information on Occupational Therapy Assessments and Functional Capacity Assessments. In particular , this article provides information on Occupational Therapy Functional Capacity Assessments as it relates to the NDIS.

Why are Occupational Therapy Functional Capacity Assessments so highly sought after?

Occupational Therapy Functional Capacity Assessment are highly sought after for NDIS participants for a range of reasons.

Firstly, it should also be mentioned that apart from Functional Capacity Assessments for NDIS participants, Occupational Therapists also complete functional capacity assessments in a range of other settings such as:

  • Aged Care Assessments for recipients of the home care package
  • Workpace Functional Assesments. This is for Occupational Therapists who are working as Rehabilitation Consultants helping injured workers return back to work.
  • Functional Assessments completed in inpatient rehabilitation settings.

Specifically, for NDIS participants Occupational Therapy Functional Assessments are very useful as they provide essential information to enable the appropraite level of supports to be provided for NDIS participants. 

Why are Occupational Therapists the best placed professionals to complete Functional Assessments?

Occupational Therapists are the best placed professionals to complete Functional Assessments as they have the capability to assess an individuals function across range of domains including:

  • Cognitive function
  • Physical function
  • Mental health function
  • Sensory needs and emotional regulation functioning

Apart from Occupational Therapists the following professionals may also assess participants function in the following areas (see image below):

The above image is by no means perfect and is a simplification of which Allied Health professionals are able to assess which domains. It does help in providing some insight into the areas which the various Allied Health professionals may work in. Please also note that the image is missing some other key Allied Health professionals including dieticians who assess dietary needs, counsellors/ psychotherapists who can also assist with mental health as well as exercise physiologists who are also well placed in assessing physical health.

Why is it important assess an NDIS participants functional needs?

It is important to assess an NDIS participants functional needs for a range reason including:

  • Understanding a partcipants current function, will enable therapy to be provided to assist in improving their function. Therapy is usually designed to meet realistic goals which have been established with the participant. 
  • Equipment recommendations can be made to assist someone to live more independently and safely. E.g. a powered wheelchair or pressure relieving mattress.
  • Understand the nature of supports and support workers which someone may require to assist them to complete their day to day activities more safely.
  • Enable recommendations to be made to family and carers around how to best support an NDIS participant.

In which condition are Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment very helpful?

Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment are useful for a range of conditions and circumstances. Below are just a few of the conditions where Occupational Therapy Functional Assessments are very helpful:


Can Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment be completed virtually?
Absolutely. Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment can definitely be completed virtually or via telehealth.

In fact in some circumstances completing a telehealth Occupational Therapy Assessment can get just as much information as a face to face Occupational Therapy Assessment.

In some cases a mobile visit may be required and can usually be organised after the telehealth consultation. 

How can I get more information regarding completing an Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment?
If you are after a Mobile Occupational therapists or a Telehealth Occupational Therapist to complete a Functional Capacity Assessment or an Occupational Therapy Assessment you can get in touch here.

Allied Health 2U

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