Occupation has been defined as, "activity in which one engages that is meaningful and central to one's identity (Hussey et al. 2008)." The role of an occupational therapist in assessing, treating, and collaborating with clients who experience pain of a psychological or physical origin has a primary focus on the client's ability to function in his/her everyday life in those activities or "occupations" that hold meaning for the client.

Regardless of etiology, the presence of acute or chronic pain has significant ramifications for a person's experience of quality of life, productivity, independence, and psychosocial well-being. It is the aim of occupational therapy to facilitate a person's return to engaging in a more fulfilling quality of life as an occupational being through physical and psychosocial client-centered interventions.

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