Health management as an IADL

        The updated Florida Occupational Therapy Practice Act defines health management as “therapeutic services designed to develop, manage, and maintain health and wellness routines” (The Florida Legislature, 2022). The American Occupational Therapy Association also de- fines it as an instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2020). The goal of health management is to improve or maintain health to support participation in occupations. The categories of health and wellness can be broken down into the following categories (AOTA, 2022):

  • Environmental Wellness: This can include living in a clean, healthy, enjoyable environment, as well as participating in “global wellness” by participating in community clean up days, recycling, finding ways to limit your personal impact on the environment and climate change
  •  Emotional Wellness: This involves feeling safe and secure in one’s physical and social environment. Some prompts to assess emotional wellness are:1)Think about how you address stressful situations, 2) How are you balancing work and personal life?, and 3) Are you content/happy with your current life situation?
  • Spiritual Wellness: The basis of spirituality is discovering a sense of meaningfulness in life and identifying one’s purpose to fulfill. This can be defined by 3 factors:  1) Beliefs: assumptions about what we hold to be true, even without proof, which could include religious beliefs 2) Values: things we consider important in the way we live our lives 3) Mental Models: complex representations of the external world around us that are based on our beliefs and guide our thoughts/behaviors
  • Financial Wellness: The sense of security gained from living within one’s means and learning to manage finances for the short- and long-term. It can include the ability to cover day to day expenses, take care of emergent financial needs without overwhelm, and address adverse health or financial events as they arise versus feeling you have to let them go until it becomes a larger problem.
  • Intellectual Wellness: Being open to new ideas, thinking critically, and finding ways to be creative. Some ways to improve or maintain one’s intellectual wellness may be: 1) Being a lifelong learner 2)  Understanding current events in a healthy and thoughtful way vs. doom scrolling 3) Learning new activities, sports, crafts 4) Perhaps building a business
  • Vocational Wellness: Feeling you are productive and providing value to  society. Signs of vocational wellness could include: 1) Doing work that you find motivating and interesting 2) Understanding how to balance leisure with work 3) Feeling good at the end of the day about the work you accomplished
  • Social Wellness: Encompasses the quality of relationships, the frequency of connection with others, and having support systems that lead to emotional resilience
  • Physical Wellness: Caring for your physical body so you feel like doing the things you want to do on a daily basis and not only the things you have to do in the following categories: 1) Sleep 2) Rest/Respite 3) Intake (food) 4) Movement 5) Hydration 6) Sexual wellness

         Many times our clients are sent to us to address one issue but are we dropping the ball if we do not address the habits and routines that may have led them to therapy in the first place? By addressing health management in our interventions it can help our clients achieve and sustain their desired outcomes. As occupational therapy practitioners, we can most effectively meet this therapeutic goal, if our personal health & wellness needs are met as well.

We also ask you to connect with us by email, or even better take our survey to help us better serve you.

Click Here to go to the survey.


Barbara: [email protected]

Sujata: smartin.r[email protected]



American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA]. (2022). Wellness for life & career: Maintain your optimal health. tain-Your-Optimal-Health

 American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA]. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (4th ed.). American Occupational Therapy Association, 74(Suppl. 2), 7412410010.

The Florida Legislature. (2022). The 2022 Florida statutes. On- line Sunshine. mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0468/0468.html

Share this post:

Comments on "Health management as an IADL"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment

Amazon searches starting from benefit FOTA!