Occupational Therapy Role in Improving Health and Slowing down age-related declines: A systematic review

  • Joseph Nshimiyimana Department of Occupational Therapy, Gahini Rehabilitation Center -Kayonza, Rwanda
  • Maurice Kanyoni School of Health Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
  • Jean Claude Muhigirwa Department of Occupational Therapy, King Faisal Hospital Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda
Keywords: Age-related decline, Health and Occupational therapy



From a global perspective, aging people from 60 years and over were 962 million in 2017 and it is expected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050. When elderly people are not engaged in daily life, they become physically, socially and mentally impaired. The occupation-based interventions in elderly people improve their health and self-satisfaction in daily activities.


The aim was to analyse the role of Occupational Therapy in improving health and slowing down age-related declines.


The study was a systematic review of literature. Information on Occupational Therapy interventions was systematically searched from Cochrane library, MEDLINE and EMBASE database publications. The selection process of the studies was documented using PRISMA guidelines for intervention protocols.


Literature search yielded 68 titles of relevant records. Of these five studies met inclusion criteria. One study explored the difference between group intervention and individual intervention; the results favoured group intervention. Comparison of Inter-professional approach with Occupational Therapy, the results favoured inter-professional practice in this population.


Occupational Therapy interventions seem to be effective in slowing down age related declines. However due to the heterogeneity in the intervention procedures, and duration of intervention, we suggest rigorous RCTS be undertaken to confirm that OT interventions delay age related declines.

Rwanda J Med Health Sci 2022;5(3):350-360


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2616-9827
print ISSN: 2616-9819