You Can Help! Sign this Petition for AOTA to Approve OT and Complementary & Integrative Health Continuing Education

You Can Help! Sign this Petition for AOTA to Approve OT and Complementary & Integrative Health Continuing Education

Would you like the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to approve OT & Complementary and Integrative Health continuing education classes? Sign the letter below in the comment section with your name and credentials and any additional comments by August 31, 2016! (You need to scroll down past all the other signatures to sign in the “Leave your reply” section.)

Recently, OTs have applied to have their continuing education courses approved by the AOTA Approved Provider Program on topics related to OT and Holistic/Complementary/Integrative Health and they were either denied or blocked.

Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L will send the letter with your name and comments to Maureen Peterson, MS, OT/L, FAOTA, Chief Professional Affairs Officer at AOTA and will send a copy to Amy Jo Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA, President of AOTA.

Your name and comments will make an impact! Thank you for taking this important step for the OT profession!


Dear Maureen Peterson:

I am a practicing occupational therapist, student OT, or Retired OT. I would like to see the American Occupational Therapy Association approve continuing education courses related to OT and Complementary and Integrative Health. Occupational Therapy is distinctly able to integrate these approaches into their practice per the Complementary and Alternative Medicine position paper from AOTA, 2011:

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) asserts that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may be used responsibly by occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants as part of a comprehensive approach to enhance engagement in occupation by people, organizations, and populations to promote their health and participation in life (AOTA, 2005; Giese, Parker, Lech-Boura, Burkhardt, & Cook, 2003).

I believe that AOTA should encourage education in these approaches, because knowledge of Complementary and Integrative Health is pertinent to best practice as OTs. I would like to have more continuing education courses on these topics approved and supported by AOTA. We have an ethical obligation to learn about these approaches, apply them in clinical practice, or refer when appropriate.

The public’s use of Complementary and Integrative Health is growing. It is estimated by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health that 34% of adults and 12% of children use these approaches, and they are more frequently used by individuals with chronic conditions and functional limitations (https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS).

Many OTs are currently integrating Complementary and Integrative Health Care into their practices, and clients are seeking out these services. Currently practicing OTs are billing for these approaches as part of a comprehensive OT treatment plan and are receiving reimbursement.

These approaches are becoming increasingly integrated into health care. Over 60% of medical schools are teaching this as part of their core training or as electives (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9729989http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334197/). There are specialties in other health care professions. There are Integrative Medicine Physicians, Holistic Medical Doctors, and Holistic Nurse Clinicians. It will likely continue to grow and may eventually simply become healthcare.

These approaches dovetail beautifully with the already holistic way OTs address their clients. In addition, there is an emphasis placed by our new president of AOTA, Amy Jo Lamb, to provide prevention and wellness, and these approaches can significantly help in this area.

I believe adding education about this aspect of health care will provide necessary skills OTs need to keep current within the changing landscape of the health care system, and will add to our distinct value as OTs making occupational therapy relevant now and for the future.

I hope to see continuing education courses approved related to OT and Complementary and Integrative Health by AOTA so that occupational therapists can gain professional knowledge and skills on how Complementary and Integrative Health can be utilized to promote occupation.

Thank you so much for your consideration and all that you do for the OT profession.

Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L

Please see attached names and comments below:


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