What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapists define occupation “as activities of everyday life, named, organized, and given value and meaning by individuals and a culture.  Occupation is everything people do to occupy themselves, including looking after themselves, enjoying life and contributing to the social and economic fabric of their communities.” (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2002; Law et al., 1997, p.32)

An occupational therapist works with a patient to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of "purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health, prevent injury or disability and which develop, improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independence."  (AOTA Inc. (1994). Policy 5.3.1: Definition of occupational therapy practice for state regulation. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 48(11), 1072-1073)

Occupational Therapy Department at SBAH

We are a team of 13 occupational therapists, 2 occupational therapy technicians, and 1 auxiliary assistant. 

Our department consists of an adult neuro area, paeds area, voc area, ADL (activities of daily living) area, splinting area, boardroom, various offices for staff members and storerooms.

We offer services in various fields such as Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, Neurology, General/Vascular Surgery, Psychiatry, Oncology and Vocational Rehabilitation.


  • Inpatient assessment & treatment in various fields –genetic, neurology, neurosurgery, neonatal ICU, paediatric ICU, oncology, congenital clinic
  • Follow up at Neurological clinic with multidisciplinary team
  • Follow up at High Risk clinic for premature babies, HIE, and head cooling babies
  • Music and support groups for children with autism
  • Group therapy with MDT


  • Inpatient & outpatient assessment & treatment of trauma and elective surgery cases
  • Make various splints
  • Attend hand clinics, rheumatology clinics, and plastics clinics
  • Assessment and treatment of spinal patients; Spinal support groups

Adult Therapy

  • Inpatient & outpatient assessment & treatment
  • Management of neurology, neurosurgery, internal medicine, general surgery, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic, urology and adult oncology patients
  • Acute management of activities of daily life and performance components due to physical impairments
  • Specialized team therapy sessions 

Adult Psychiatry

  • Group therapy (leisure, social, vocational, insight)
  • Inpatient & outpatient assessment & treatment
  • Special events which aim to deinstitutionalize Mental Health Care users

Child Psychiatry

  • Assessment and intervention of patients (4-18yr) by working together as a team (child psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, occupational therapist)

Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Voc screening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Pilir assessments for SBAH employees
  • Work visits within our catchment area
  • Voc intervention
  • Report writing

Other Services

  • Attend Multi-disciplinary ward rounds and meetings
  • Refer to peripheral hospitals for follow-ups and home visits
  • Student training (OT and medical)
  • Scholar open days (8 times a year)
  • Host training workshops
  • Voc screening

Assistive Devices:

  • Basic wheelchair seating
  • Wheelchair dexterity and family training
  • Paediatric modular seating device and provide patients with specialized assistive devises when needed and available


Occupational therapists:
"A group of hand picked, happy, creative individuals that help a patient to function as normal as possible. Great people."
- Anonymous


Occupational Therapy Department – Level 3
Steve Biko Road and Malan Street, Capital Park, Pretoria, 0084
012 354 1665