WFOT recognises the COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the lives, health and wellbeing of individuals, families and community worldwide. To inform how WFOT can optimally support the occupational therapy community during the pandemic, an online survey was conducted between March and July 2020. The 30-item questionnaire was circulated by WFOT member organisations and through other WFOT communication networks. Analysis of the 2750 responses from 100 countries provided important recommendations for occupational therapy, including the need for:
- Collaborative efforts to provide information and education resources
- Standards and supports to promote quality service provision
- Advocacy to promote access to occupational therapy and address occupational injustice
More information regarding the survey results is available from the links below:
- WFOT Bulletin Article - The Impact of COVID-19 for Occupational Therapy: Findings and recommendations of a global survey
- Infographic - Summary of findings - The Impact of COVID-19 for Occupational Therapy: Findings and recommendations of a global survey
- Work Journal Article – Was a Global Pandemic Needed to Adopt the Use of Telehealth During the Pandemic?
- Infographic - Summary of findings - Was a Global Pandemic Needed to Adopt the Use of Telehealth During the Pandemic?
- Dataset Report – Global Survey Report: The Impact of COVID-19 for Occupational Therapy
As part of initiatives to address issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, WFOT prepared the following public statements:
- Occupational Therapy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- COVID-19 and WFOT Minimum Education Standards
- Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation of People Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic
- International Year of Health and Care Workers 2021
WFOT advocacy initiatives include engaging with World Health Organisation (WHO) meetings, briefings and strategy development regarding COVID-19. WFOT submissions to WHO and WHO Regional Groups can be accessed at https://wfot.org/about/partners.
To provide an opportunity to network, share and develop resources regarding the impact of COVID-19, WFOT offers a dedicated FREE online platform. The forum is available on the Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION)Visit COVID-19 Forum on OTION
WFOT continues to host listings of information, resources and education from around the world relevant to occupational therapy and COVID-19.
Please note that the following information is provided by WFOT Member Organisations, Partner organisations and other organisations. WFOT is not responsible for the content of the material. Readers are directed to the authors of the documents for any questions or concerns.
WFOT has additional resources to assist occupational therapists and others providing services during this pandemic. The following resources are available.
Public Statement: Occupational Therapy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Position Statement:Occupational Therapy in Disaster Risk Reduction
Position Statement: Occupational Therapy in Disaster Preparedness and Response
Online Forum: OTION COVID-19
Online Learning Module: Disaster Management for Occupational Therapists (Free for WFOT Individual Members)
Endorsed Publication: Early Rehabilitation in Conflicts and Disasters
Endorsed Publication: Responding internationally to disasters
Endorsed Publication: Disaster and Development: an Occupational Therapy Perspective
A full list of Position Statements is available via this link https://www.wfot.org/resources/list-of-position-statements - consider Rehabilitation, Human Displacement, Assistive technology, Telehealth, Mental Health and others.
Resources for communicating with the public:
Position Statements to Assist Communicating with the public:
Member Organisation Resources
Occupational Therapy in Hospitals & Inpatient Care: Responding to a Pandemic Wednesday, April 1 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET
From Onsite to Online: Addressing Students' Needs Through a Telehealth Service Delivery Model (For School Systems) Thursday, April 2 1:30–3 p.m. ET
Partner Organisation Resources
Global Rehabilitation Alliance
United Nations Economic and Social Council
World Health Organization
Health and Safety of health workers in COVID-19 Survey - Available in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili
Social stigma associated with COVID-19 (Powerpoint presentation)
Short WHO rehabilitation management animation videos for people recovering from COVID-19 on the topics of:
- Techniques to manage breathlessness
- Managing eating, drinking and swallowing
- Managing problem of voice
- Managing activities of daily living
- Exercises after illness
- Managing problem with attention, memory and thinking
Other Organisations Resources
Australian Physiotherapy Association
Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy
General Council of Occupational Therapy Colleges (CGCTO)
Fonoaudiologia y Terapia Ocupacional - Sodiedad Chilena de Medicina Intensiva
Hammell, Karen Whalley
Inter-Agency Standing Committee
My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19 (available in English, Ukrainian, Malay, Arabic, Spanish, German, Turkish, Danish, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian)
International Disability Alliance
Taylor and Francis
The Taylor and Francis microsite at www.taylorandfrancis.com/coronavirus consolidates journal and book resources related to the COVID 19 Pandemic. The site is updated based on daily keyword scans of articles in production to ensure that all COVID-19 research is available free at the point of publication.
Boldrini, P., Kiekens, C., Bargellesi, S., Brianti, R., Galeri, S., Lucca, L.F., Montis, A., Posteraro, F., Scarponi, F., Straudi, S., Negrini, S. First Impact on services and their preparation. "Instant paper from the field" on rehabilitation answers to the COVID-19 emergency. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2020. Available from: doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06303-0
Ceravolo, M.G., De Sire, A., Andrenelli, E., Negrini, F., Negrini, S. Systematic Rapid Living Review on Rehabilitation Needs due to COVID-19: Update to March 31st 2020. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2020. Available from: doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06329-7
Kiekens, C., Boldrini, P., Andreoli, A., Avesani, R., Gamna, F., Grandi, M., Lombardi, F., Lusuardi, M., Molteni, F., Perboni, A., Negrini, S. Rehabilitation and Respiratory management in the acute and early post-acute phase. "Instant Paper fro the Field" on rehabilation answers to the COVID-19 emergency.
Negrini, S., Ferriero, G., Kiekens, C., Boldrini, P. Facing in real time the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic for rehabilitation. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2020. Available from: doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06286-3
Negrini, S., Kiekens, C., Bernetti, A., Capecci, M., Ceravolo, M.G., Lavezzi, S., Zampolini, M., Boldrini, P. Telemedicine from research to practice during the pandemic. “Instant paper from the field” on rehabilitation answers to the Covid-19 emergency. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2020. Available from: doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06331-5