Today…F is for Function!! Function is a word that is near and dear to the heart of OTs. My intuition would say that OTs probably use the word function even more often than they use the word occupation. But, as I learned in preparing this post, function seems to be one of those concepts that we know what it means but is a bit hard to actually articulate.
I fumbled with a few definitions on my own, then consulted some standard documents and texts. Interestingly, the word function readily appears – function, functional activity, functional performance – but an actual definition was elusive. After retrieving dictionary entries of function, this one seemed the most applicable:
The purpose for which something is designed or exists.
I think this really gets to the heart of how we think as OTs…we – as humans – are designed to do. Our ability to do – or to function in our environment – supports our health and is also affected by our health. So when we address function, we are focusing on ways to support a person’s ability to do what they need or want to in the context of their daily lives.
So, how do you define function?