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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who work with individuals of all ages, with the goal of enabling participation in meaningful roles and occupations despite the presence of disabilities. The Department of Occupational Therapy at Sengkang General Hospital promotes health and well-being by supporting individuals to return to their daily functions and perform day-to-day meaningful activities revolving around self-care, leisure and productivity.

Our team of Occupational Therapists work with individuals who experience a range of physical disabilities, cognitive or psychiatric challenges either from birth or as the result of accident, illness or ageing. Our primary goal is to enable these individuals to find ways to continue participating in meaningful activities safely in their homes and communities.

In order to maximise each individual’s function and quality of life, our Occupational Therapists work closely with them to identify strengths and barriers to participation, collaborate on specific goals, before designing a customised treatment or rehabilitation programme appropriate to each individual’s unique values, needs and preferences.

Our therapy programme involves carefully selected activities to enhance the individual's physical, cognitive and/ or psychosocial abilities in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as recommendations on environmental modifications and assistive devices to promote safety and participation in meaningful activities Caregiver training may also be done to equip families or caregivers with skills to support them in caring for their loved ones post-discharge, improving their confidence and reducing incidences of caregiver stress.

Our Clinical Services


Neurological rehabilitation is targeted at individuals who are recovering from acute or chronic neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's diseases, spinal cord injuries and many more. Occupational therapy aims to promote the return of motor, cognitive and sensory-perceptual functions, reduce and/or manage symptoms, promote participation in meaningful occupations, hence enhancing the overall quality of life of the individual.

Apart from working with individuals and their caregivers through one-on-one intensive rehabilitation based on their unique needs (such as through physical, cognitive, perceptual retraining etc) in the wards, occupational therapists also follow up with individuals in the outpatient setting to continue reintegrating them back into their communities and supporting their return to work.

Hands and Upper Limb Rehabilitation

Occupational therapists in this service work with individuals with a range of hands and upper limb conditions, such as fractures, amputations, nerve and tendon injuries, arthritis and repetitive strain injuries (i.e. trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis and many more). Occupational Therapy aims to optimise the functional use of an individual's hand and arm, in order for him/ her to return to performing daily activities in the most independent, efficient and pain free manner. To do this, we offer interventions such as pain management, splinting, heat therapy, individualised exercise programmes and patient education on management of specific conditions. 

Geriatric Rehabilitation

Older adults may face cognitive, physical and psychosocial challenges due to a myriad of chronic and/or acute medical conditions. Occupational therapists work with these older adults, their families and caregivers by empowering them with strategies to support engagement in meaningful occupations within their homes and communities, while promoting safety and well-being. Some examples of intervention in geriatric rehabilitation include education of falls prevention strategies, prescription of suitable assistive devices and caregiver training on suitable assistance level and activities tailored to the older adults.

For individuals living with dementia, occupational therapists may also aim to maintain or improve the individual's cognitive and physical functions through cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation programmes, as well as working closely with families and caregivers to devise strategies for person-centred care back at home.

In addition, we also offer home-based rehabilitation services such as home visits for individuals who will benefit from therapeutic interventions and home modification advice within their own home environment.

Orthopaedic-Surgical Rehabilitation

Occupational therapists work with individuals with orthopaedic conditions, such as upper and lower limbs fractures, amputations, and upper limb tendon injuries. We also play a part in the post-operative rehabilitation for individuals who have undergone various surgical procedures such as colectomy, cholecystectomy, gastrectomy and spinal cord surgeries. 

Individuals will be taught to incorporate specific precautions that have to be taken post-injury and/or surgery into their daily activities. During the recovery phase, occupational therapists will work with individuals to help them regain their physical and functional abilities. This may also include learning how to incorporate the use of assistive devices to perform their day-to-day activities. Wheelchair assessment and training may also be done to support their mobility within the home and community.

Oncology Rehabilitation

Occupational therapy in oncology rehabilitation is tailored for individuals living with cancer, addressing and managing symptoms faced such as fatigue, pain, and psychosocial needs at different stages of cancer. Occupational therapists also collaborate closely with these individuals to identify roles and activities that are meaningful and purposeful to them. Through rehabilitation, education of energy conservation techniques and prescription of assistive devices, occupational therapists aim to enhance these individuals’ quality of life and facilitate them in achieving goals and wishes closest to their hearts.

Mental Health Rehabilitation

Occupational Therapists work with individuals with psychiatric conditions to help them integrate back into the community and perform their daily occupations in an adaptive manner. 

Some examples of interventions that we offer include: 

  • Supporting the learning of stress management strategies and education on the active use of coping strategies.
  • Developing healthy lifestyle habits and routines through addressing barriers and building on existing resources and capabilities.
  • Training and development of independent living skills such as time management skills, social skills, problem-solving skills as well as self-management skills, which are essential for promoting individuals' continued participation in everyday activities and work tasks.
  • Supporting reintegration back into the community through the exploration of community-based resources and outpatient services.

Paediatric Rehabilitation

Occupational therapists in this service work closely with children with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities or other challenges, with the aim of facilitating their achievement of age-appropriate developmental milestones and supporting their participation in self-care, school, play and leisure activities. Our therapists collaborate with children and their parents to identify specific challenges and goals, before developing individualised treatment plans based on each child’s needs. Interventions may include handwriting training, social skills training, visual perceptual training, attention and behavioural management, sensory regulation, gross and fine motor skills training.

Postmastectomy Rehabilitation and Lymphoedema Management

The post-mastectomy rehabilitation team provides pre-operative education and post-operative rehabilitation to individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. The goals of rehabilitation are a) to help individuals to regain as much shoulder movements as before the surgery so that they are able to resume activities that they do at home, at work and in recreation and b) to monitor and manage lymphedema for individuals with axillary lymph nodes clearance.

Early intervention and good management of lymphedema is  crucial for improving one quality of life and ensuring continued participation in activities of daily living. Our therapists who are trained and certified in Dr Vodder's Manual Lymph Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy work through with them to integrate lymphedema self-management strategies to overcome these challenges; supporting them to maintain or increase their independence in their daily living.

Return to Work Program

Occupational therapists in our Return to Work (RTW) program work closely with individuals who have difficulties returning to work after an illness or injury. Taking on the role of a RTW coordinator, our occupational therapists liaise with individuals, their health professionals and employers to understand their job duties, evaluate their capabilities and current barriers to returning to work. A RTW plan is jointly developed, which may include rehabilitation, monitoring of the individual’s progress and identification of potential opportunities for return to work.


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Treatments Offered

  • Functional assessment and retraining
  • Cognitive assessment and retraining
  • Assessment and re-training of activities of daily living
  • Prescription and training in the use of assistive devices, including motorised mobility devices
  • Home assessment and modifications
  • Community mobility assessment and training



Why has my doctor ordered an Occupational Therapy session for me?

Your physician has requested an evaluation to determine if therapy services could improve your abilities. Occupational therapy and physical therapy make it possible for those with injuries or physical and developmental challenges to function safely and efficiently in day-to-day activities and live their lives to the fullest potential.

What are the Main Benefits of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy improves strength and endurance for functional tasks. Although typical exercise and endurance (or activity tolerance) activities are common in therapy, what truly sets Occupational Therapy apart is the ability to analyse the movement or cognitive requirements of specific daily tasks, and creatively implement activities and exercises designed to build upon the patient’s current abilities in order to improve  independence and function. Apart from the remediation of specific skills, occupational therapists are also well equipped with knowledge on available assistive devices and environmental modifications which can help to simplify tasks and further support participation in valued occupations.

What are the differences between occupational therapy and physical therapy?

Physical therapy focuses on improving your movement, mobility, and function. This is usually done through a variety of purposeful exercises, strength training, stretches, or other physical activities. Occupational therapy, on the other hand, focuses on helping you carry out daily tasks and meaningful occupations. It places a stronger emphasis than physical therapy on day-to-day activities and the improvement of skills needed for participation in these valued roles and activities. Occupational therapists also strongly believe in adopting a holistic perspective and hence, are often involved in helping you make your home, work or school environment more optimal for you to perform your occupations in.

Where is the Occupational Therapy Department located?

SKH’s Occupational Therapy Department is led by a well-trained team, providing a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services. While our inpatient services are provided within Sengkang General Hospital, our outpatient clinics are located on levels 3, 5 and 7 of our Medical Centre, as well as level 2 of the Outpatient Rehabilitation Centre (within Sengkang Community Hospital).