Purposeful ActivityPurposeful activityhas always been a central focus of occupationaltherapy. Purposeful activities are the behaviors or tasks that make upoccupations. These behaviors or tasks are directed towards a specificgoal. To be considered a purposeful activity, the individual must beparticipating actively and voluntarily toward a goal that the individ-ual considers meaningful. For a mentally ill patient who previouslyenjoyed woodworking as a hobby, for example, occupational therapytreatment may include the purposeful activity of constructing a desk-top bookshelf.Occupational therapy practitioners use purposeful activity to evalu-ate, simplify, restore, or maintain a patient’s ability to function in hisor her daily occupations. Using purposeful activity in therapy pro-duces many benefits, including the following:·Purposeful activity focuses attention on a meaningful goalrather than on the process required for achievement (Figure 4).·Purposeful activity assists and builds on the individual’s abili-ties and leads to the achievement of personal functional goals.·Purposeful activity encourages coordination of the individual’svarious body systems.·Purposeful activity provides feedback on performance to boththe occupational therapy practitioner and the individual.Now let’s take a moment to review. Occupational therapy focuses onpatients’ day-to-day involvement in occupations (activities) that or-ganize their lives and meet their needs. These needs would includetaking care of themselves (self-care), being productive (work), andIntroduction to Occupational Therapy5FIGURE 4—Usingpurposeful activity intherapy focuses atten-tion on a meaningfulgoal rather than on theprocess required forachievement.