Introduction: A national survey was conducted with United Kingdom (UK) occupational therapists to scope occupational therapy service provision for people with dementia and their family carers in the community.
Method: This was an online questionnaire with topics on occupational therapists’ roles, service provision, referral, assistive technology and assessment tools. Recruitment was through direct invitation, and promotion via occupational therapy networks, websites and newsletters.
Results: A total of 197 responded. Occupational therapy referrals most commonly came from the multidisciplinary team. Over half primarily undertook profession-specific work, with occupational therapy assessments the most common profession-specific task. Two-thirds of referrals for initial assessments were for people with mild-to-moderate dementia. A median of 2.5 hours for assessment/intervention was spent for each person with dementia. Almost two-thirds used the Model of Human Occupation Screening Tool. Most could prescribe personal activities of daily living equipment and Telecare, with few able to prescribe equipment for reminiscence or leisure.
Conclusion: This national survey increases knowledge of UK community occupational therapy practice and service provision for people with dementia and their family carers. It informs occupational therapists about national trends within this practice area, and development of the community occupational therapy intervention (COTiD-UK) as part of the Valuing Active Life in Dementia research programme.