Occupational Therapy

Our occupational therapists help you regain and retain the ability to perform everyday tasks after a serious injury or illness.

Occupational Therapy

Our occupational therapists help you regain and retain the ability to perform everyday tasks after a serious injury or illness.

Occupational Therapy to Improve Your Quality of Life

The goal of occupational therapy (OT) is to help people with injuries, illnesses or disabilities adapt and regain independence, so they can engage more fully in their daily lives.

Our highly skilled team of occupational therapists do an in-depth evaluation to figure out your needs and then develop a personalized treatment plan to help you perform ordinary tasks at home, work or school. This could include activities like dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, cooking, driving, cleaning your home or caring for your child.

Our mission is to help you participate in daily activities that give meaning and purpose to your life, and to maximize your potential, self-reliance, quality of life and independence. Sometimes, this means using assistive devices, modifying your home or work environment or changing the types of activities you do to improve your health.

Diagnostic Screenings and Customized Treatments

Our occupational therapists at Keck Medicine of USC are committed to finding out what is impacting your ability to engage in daily preferred activities and tailoring a treatment plan to meet your needs.

Your diagnostic screening and treatment may include:

  • Performance evaluations of ability to do self-care activities and other activities, such as meal preparation, home management, community mobility, leisure and other activities
  • In-depth evaluations of strength, joint motion, coordination, dexterity, endurance, vision, cognition and mental health to perform activities
  • Customized treatment programs to help maximize function for daily living
    • Treatment activities may include self-care tasks, cognitive retraining, exercise, crafts, leisure and work-related activities
    • Training in joint protection, body mechanics and energy conservation
    • Upper extremity management, including splinting
    • Addressing daily routines and health management for improved overall well-being
  • Comprehensive home and/or job-site evaluation and recommendations for adaptations to make the environment as safe and “user-friendly” as possible
  • Needs assessment, recommendations and training for adaptive equipment
  • Family and caregiver education

Frequently Asked Questions

Who benefits from occupational therapy?
You may benefit from occupational therapy if you’re experiencing functional challenges due to the following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Deconditioning and functional decline due to a serious illness/injury
  • Recent surgery or transplant
  • Post-COVID-19
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Lymphedema
  • Visual, sensory, cognitive or perceptual problems
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis, ALS or other chronic conditions
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction


Why is it called occupational therapy?
In occupational therapy, “occupation” refers to meaningful and important activities that you perform as a part of your daily life. Perhaps you are a carpenter, executive, student, or you are retired and love to garden. If an injury, illness or chronic health problem has impaired your physical, cognitive or psychosocial abilities to perform the tasks involved in these activities, occupational therapy can help you regain your prior skills to do them, relearn them, or learn how to do them in a different way. Occupational therapy can also teach you how to use special adaptive devices so that you can maintain your independence.


What are some commonly used terms in occupational therapy that I should know?

  • Adaptive equipment – Devices that help people with a physical impairment to write, read, move, speak, hear and otherwise conduct normal activities. These can include items to assist a person in their Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as cooking, bathing and dressing. Adaptive equipment is also called assisted devices.
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL) – Activities that are part of taking care of oneself, such as dressing, bathing, toileting and eating.
  • Functional – Generally, functional refers to something able to fulfill its purpose or function. In rehabilitation, functional exercise refers to exercise that helps a person resume their regular activities or functions.
  • Mobility – The ability of a person to move around and change position. A person with a mobility impairment may have difficulty with walking, standing, lifting, climbing stairs, carrying, balancing or having the stamina and endurance to do these kinds of activities.
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) – Activities that are considered part of normal everyday life, such as shopping for and preparing a meal, cleaning your home, caring for your child, balancing your checkbook, going to work or school and enjoying leisure activities at home or in the community.


What types of training and certifications do your occupational therapists hold?
Our clinicians have advanced training and certifications, including completion of American Occupational Therapy Association Fellowships, Certified Hand Therapists, Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialists, Lifestyle Redesign Specialists, Certified Brain Injury Specialists, Certified Lymphedema Therapists, Physical Agent Modalities Certification, Neuro-IFRAH Certified Clinicians and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS).

Comprehensive OT Services from Leading Experts

Your care team does in-depth performance evaluations to assess your needs and tailors a treatment plan to help maximize function for daily living.

Our occupational therapists work closely with other therapy specialists to streamline your care and get you better faster.

Your occupational therapy team includes clinical faculty from the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, one of the top academic OT programs in the country for clinical practice, education and research.

Our occupational therapists hold advanced training and certifications, and they are nationally recognized experts in their field.

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