CE Article: The Occupational Profile as a Guide to Clinical Reasoning in Early Intervention: A Detectives Tale
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SKU: CEA0419

Publisher: AOTA Continuing Education

Published: 2019

Member Price
Non-Member Price: $34.95

Product Overview

Rondalyn Whitney, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Director of Faculty Development and Scholarship

West Virginia University’s School of Medicine

Department of Human Performance, Morgantown, WV


Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)



According to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Edition (Framework; American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014), all initial client evaluations must include an occupational profile and a subsequent analysis of occupational performance. It is through the process of completing the profile that the therapist begins to learn about the client’s background, priorities, and desired therapeutic outcomes. Completion of the profile also begins dialogue regarding the possible effect of factors, patterns, skills, and context and environment on the client’s ability to fully participate in activities of daily life.


One can think of the occupational profile as a systematic way to organize the therapist’s clinical reasoning. When presented with a client with complex needs, having a methodology to guide evaluation and develop an informed intervention is critical for effective outcomes. Take the case of a child with complex medical concerns who lives in an underserved, rural environment: Having a tool to guide one’s reasoning process becomes essential for identifying and resolving the unique barriers limiting occupational engagement.


Learning Objectives

1.  Recognize how using the AOTA Occupational Profile Template guides clinical reasoning

2.  Identify key decision points using clinical reasoning to assess and develop a plan of care for a child with a complex medical disorder

3.  Describe the distinct value of occupational therapy in early intervention using terminology from the Framework

4.  Recognize the process of using inductive and deductive reasoning as part of the clinical reasoning process during early intervention cases


Learning Level: Intermediate


Target Audience: Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy



Content Focus: Process of Occupational Therapy: Evaluation


Reference Information:

Whitney, Rondalyn, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

(CEA April 2019) The Occupational Profile as a Guide to Clinical Reasoning in Early Intervention: A Detective’s Tale