Lightning Talk

Added-value of Embedding Occupational Therapists in Primary Care Practice

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm EDT
primary careinterprofessional clinical learning environmentsaging/geriatricscontinuum - students and residents
Sample video
Lightning Talk Presentation
Sample video
Lightning Talk Live Discussion Recording

Although different models may exist, successful models of primary care share basic core principles and values including: person and family-centered, continuous, comprehensive and equitable, team-based and collaborative, coordinated and integrated, accessible and high value. Occupational therapists (OT) have a unique understanding of the impact of roles, habits, and routines on health and wellness and are well prepared to contribute added-value to interprofessional collaborative teams in primary care. A growing body of evidence shows the impact OT services have on patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness within the primary care settings. As members of interprofessional primary care teams, OT practitioners are distinctly qualified to address the needs of individuals with chronic conditions with regard to self-management, development of healthy lifestyles, and limitations in daily activities.


This project involved development, implementation, and evaluation of a program integrating Doctor of Occupational Therapy students into a geriatric, primary care practice. Two OT students per year were embedded in the practice for both fall and spring semesters in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. Program assessment included evaluation of feasibility, acceptability, and impact on patient and caregiver outcomes.


This talk will review approaches OT students utilized to conduct a cultural needs assessment in the primary care setting to identify areas of need to efficiently and effectively collaborate with primary care team members and augment care for patients, caregivers, and communities. We will discuss specific strategies and projects that OT students undertook to enhance the delivery of primary care, including: development of individualized action plans to improve self-efficacy of older adults regarding chronic disease management, evaluating and addressing caregiver level of distress and burden, , and utilizing the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit to identify patients with self-reported low levels of physical activity and developing collaborative approaches to improving physical activity levels.



In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s Standards for Commercial Support, adopted by the Joint Accreditors for Interprofessional Continuing Education, the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education has a conflict of interest policy that requires that all individuals involved in the development of activity content disclose their relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. All potential conflicts of interest that arise based upon these financial relationships are resolved prior to the educational activity.

Liz Harrell, Chris Riley, Tammy Wilson, Joe Peterson, Jorge Lomas, Dan Williams, Candace Stillman, Heidi Sanborn, Natalie Heywood, Brooke Salzman, Amy Cunningham, Ashely Crowl, Stephen Jernigan, Laurel Witt

declare no vested interest in or affiliation with any commercial interest offering financial support for this interprofessional continuing education activity, or any affiliation with a commercial interest whose philosophy could potentially bias their presentation.

Accreditation Details

In support of improving patient care, this activity is planned and implemented by The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

As a Jointly Accredited Provider, the National Center is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The National Center maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive continuing education credits.

This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

  • Physicians: This activity will be designated for CME AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM through ACCME.
  • Physician Assistants: NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.
  • Nurses: This activity will be designated for CNE nursing contact hours through ANCC.
  • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: This activity will be designated for CPE contact hours (CEUs) through ACPE.
  • Social Workers: This activity will be designated for social work continuing education credits through ASWB.
  • All health professionals: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.