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Overview

Occupational therapists are healthcare professionals who use activities with specific goals to help people of all ages, prevent, reduce or overcome effects of disabilities.

We aim to maximize our patients functions and quality of life. The Occupational Therapy department consists of 39 occupational therapists, including therapists with specialist training to support the medical specialties in the hospital. Our team of occupational therapists aim to provide high standards of service to patients with diverse needs. We are also actively involved in research and development activities to provide evidence-based practices.

List of Services

​This unit provides therapy for people with hand or upper limb injuries. The goal in rehabilitation is to assist you to achieve optimal function of their upper limbs so as to regain independence in their daily activities and return to work.

Range of services includes:

  • Mobilisation and exercises
  • Design and fabrication of splints and pressure garments
  • Joint protection education program
  • Pain management

​This unit aims to enable workers to return to work safely following an injury and/or medical condition and prevent re-injury at work. Services available are:

  • Assessment of worker’s abilities and readiness to return to work
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations and Pre-employment functional screens
  • Work conditioning
  • Work-site assessments and modifications
  • Return-To-Work Coordination

H.S.K.Tan, D.S.C.Yeo, J.Y.T.Giam, F.W.F. Cheong & K.F.Chan (2016).

A randomised controlled trial of a Return-To-Work Coordinator model of care in a general hospital to facilitate return to work of injured workers. Work (54): 209-222.

A randomised controlled trial of a hospital-based Return-To-Work Coordinator (RTWC) model of care, with Occupational therapists taking on the RTWC role, was found to be effective in facilitating early return to work of injured workers.

Read article here.

7 Principles for Successful Return to Work

 

Strategies for Employers and Healthcare Professionals

Employers and healthcare professionals have an important role to play in facilitating successful return to work. There are some simple strategies that can be used to help and support an injured worker in the process of returning to work. The following two guides are adapted based on the “Seven principles of Successful Return to Work” published by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), Canada.

Strategies For Employers

When one suffers an injury or a medical condition and is unable to return to work (RTW), this may affect one’s health and financial situation. At the same time, workforce manpower and productivity may be compromised at the workplace.

Employers have a big part to play in helping injured / ill workers RTW. Successful RTW makes good business sense as it reduces time and cost of training replacement workers and retains experienced workers. This guide is based on the Seven principles of Successful Return to Work developed by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) (2007, rev 2014). These principles have been found to have positive impact on duration and costs of work disability.

Download PDF (243KB).

Principle 1: Make Early Contact With the Worker
If possible, contact the worker within the first 2 weeks of the injury or illness. This contact made with goodwill and concern helps the worker to feel connected to his/her workplace.
Principle 2: Arrange Someone to Coordinate RTW
The worker may feel lost after his/her injury or illness. It is useful to assign someone in the company to follow up and assist him/her during the RTW process.
Principle 3: With the Worker’s Consent, Communicate With Healthcare Professionals About Workplace Demands
This helps the healthcare professionals to better estimate when the worker is fit to RTW. Ask for a referral to an Occupational Therapist if you need assistance to address RTW issues.
Principle 4: Offer Modified Work (or Work Accommodation) to Facilitate Early RTW
Early RTW with appropriate work accommodations keeps the worker engaged in his/her role and facilitates his/her rehabilitation. Work accommodations can be as simple as rearranging the workstation or adjusting the work hours.
Principle 5: Ensure the Worker’s Rtw Plan Do Not Disadvantage Co-workers
Involve and seek support from co-workers in the planning and implementation of the RTW process of the worker to gain cooperation.
Principle 6: Train Supervisors in Work Disability Prevent Ion and Rtw Planning
Learning about work injury management, ergonomics, and work accommodations helps supervisors to problem solve RTW issues.
Principle 7: Encourage a Strong Commitment to Health and Safety in the Workplace
Research shows that investment of company resources RTW policies/disability management interventions and commitment to RTW are associated with good RTW outcomes.

Strategies For Healthcare Professionals

Work is an important role for many of us.

When one suffers an injury or a medical condition and is unable to return to work (RTW), this may affect one’s health and financial situation. At the same time, workforce manpower and productivity may be compromised at the workplace.

There is increasing evidence that work is good for an injured worker's health and well-being. Healthcare professionals can facilitate and support the injured/ ill workers to RTW as soon as it is medically safe to do so, to reap the health benefits of work. This guide is based on the Seven principles of Successful Return to Work developed by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH)(2007, rev 2014). These principles have been found to have positive impact on duration and costs of work disability.

Download PDF (216KB) 

Principle 1: The employer makes early contact with the injured/ ill worker.
Principle 2: Someone has the responsibility to coordinate RTW.
Principle 3: Employers and health care professionals communicate with each other about the workplace demands, with the worker's consent.
Principle 4: Employer offers modified work (or work accommodation) to facilitate early RTW.
Principle 5: RTW plan supports the returning worker without disadvantaging co-workers.
Principle 6: Supervisors are trained in work disability prevention and RTW planning.
Principle 7: The workplace has a strong commitment to health and safety in the workplace.

What Healthcare Professionals Can Do to Facilitate the 7 Principles

  • Talk about RTW with the injured/ill worker early in the recovery process. Emphasise to worker the health benefits of work and that RTW is an important part of recovery.
  • Communicate with other healthcare professionals, worker and employer on worker's fitness to RTW. Involve an Occupational THerapist in the team to facilitate communication with the employer and follow up with RTW issues and concerns.
  • Focus on what the worker can do, rather than what they cannot do. The worker does not need to be 100% well to RTW as long as their functional ability matches the job demands.
  • Establish timeline to set up an expectation of recovery time and date to RTW for worker. This can help the injured/ill worker towards the RTW goal.

​Our certified therapists offer specialist evaluation services in functional assessments and driving assessments.

A Functional Capacity Evaluation is a detailed examination and evaluation that objectively measures the individual’s current level of function compared to the physical demands of an occupation. It is a useful tool to make recommendations for return-to-work and disability determinations.

The Occupational Therapy department in TTSH pioneered the Driving Assessment and Rehabilitation Program in Singapore in 2001. The program aims to enable clients with medical conditions to learn or return to driving. When required, clients may be prescribed vehicle modifications to facilitate them to drive.


​Consultancy services by our qualified ergonomics specialist to help individuals and organisations maintain the highest quality of working life by promoting awareness of safe work practices in the workplace and hence reducing the potential for on-job injuries.

Services include:

  • Workplace evaluations and recommendations
  • Customised educational talks and workshops on ergonomics, joint protection and stress management
  • Symptom surveys
  • Individual consultations for work-related musculoskeletal disorders

This unit provides therapy for clients with lymphoedema, a type of swelling caused by malfunctioning lymphatic system.  This can be managed with manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging, compression garment and simple skin care.   Our certified therapist will provide and educate clients to perform manual lymphatic drainage, exercises, simple skin care, apply compression bandaging and garment.  The goal in this rehabilitation is to assist clients to reduce and/or maintain existing swelling to achieve optimal function so as to regain independence in their daily activities.


This unit caters to the elderly clients who may have conditions such as problems with memory, frequent falls or functional decline. The goal is to assist clients to reintegrate back to the community after a medical condition.

Range of services includes:

  • Home safety assessments and modifications
  • Caregiver education and training
  • Assessment and re-training of self care activities
  • Cognitive assessment and training
  • Prescription and use of adaptive equipment

Occupational therapists provide therapy for clients whose motor, cognitive and/or perceptual functions are affected by neurological conditions such as stroke, head injury, Parkinson's disease and motor neuron disease.

Services available are:

  • Cognitive and perceptual assessment and re-training
  • Caregiver education and training
  • Prescription and use of adaptive equipment
  • Home assessments and modifications
  • Assessment and re-training of self care activities
  • Seating and positioning

Occupational therapy for stroke patients

Stroke is a common condition and Occupational Therapists play a very vital role in the multidisciplinary care of a stroke patient. After a thorough assessment of the stroke patient's condition, the Occupational Therapist works with patients to achieve their rehabilitation goals.

The aims of interventions are to help patients regain independence as much as possible and to train caregivers as well. Common interventions include training patients in activities of daily living, cognitive strategies, use of the affected upper limb in functional activities and others. The following posters provide some tips for patients and caregivers.

Upper limb rehab

Whilst it may be challenging to regain full function of the affected upper limb after stroke, the stroke survivor can still learn to use residual functions in self-care activities with training.

Upper limb Rehab

Cognitive strategies Footwear advice Mobile apps Driving after Stroke

Therapists in this unit treat clients with traumatic injuries and musculoskeletal conditions such as fractures, limb amputation, spinal injuries or arthritis. This may also include clients undergoing elective (planned) surgeries such as knee and hip replacement.

Services include:

  • Assessment and re-training of self care activities
  • Caregiver education and training
  • Home assessments and modifications
  • Prescription and use of adaptive equipment
  • Wheelchair assessment and training
  • Pain management

With a rapidly ageing population in Singapore, the number of people with Parkinson's disease is expected to rise. Parkinson's disease greatly affects a person's lifestyle, including difficulties in performing activities of daily living, areas of self-care, work and leisure.

In the Parkinson's disease rehabilitation management, occupational therapy plays an important role in assisting the people with Parkinson's disease in improving or maintaining their ability to perform meaningful daily activities. The key Parkinson's disease rehabilitation strategies are based on "ABCDE" rehabilitation approaches, which are developed by Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National Neuroscience Institute.

"ABCDE" rehabilitation approaches are:

  1. Allocate sufficient time
  2. Break down the task
  3. Concentration/conscious attention
  4. Dual task avoided
  5. External cue and adaptation

Download People with Parkinson brochure (358 kb, PDF)


General Medicine rehabilitation provides therapy for clients with complex medical conditions such as multi-systemic disease and chronic medical conditions. The goal of rehabilitation is to provide care that targets functional declines, symptoms control, modified lifestyle adaptations so as to optimize participations, functional abilities and regain the sense of autonomy in performing ones activities of daily living and leading a meaningful life.

Range of services include:

  • Comprehensive functional assessment
  • Activities of Daily Living & Cognitive Retraining
  • Prescription and use of adaptive equipment
  • Patient and caregiver education and training
  • Home assessment and modification

The Driving Assessment and Rehabilitation Program (DARP) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital aims to assist clients with medical conditions to learn or return to driving.  The DARP therapist specialises in assessing a client's ability to return to driving safely and legally, based on the Medical Guidelines on Fitness to Drive (Singapore Medical Association, 2011) and the requirements of Traffic Police (Road Traffic Act).

Who is DARP for?

  • Clients with a valid driving licence prior to their medical condition and would like to return to driving.
  • Clients with medical conditions but no previous driving licence and would like to learn to drive. The DARP therapist will advise on the driving licence application process and introduce suitable vehicle modifications to suit the clients’ needs.

Who can Benefit From DARP?

  • Clients with physical conditions such as limb weakness and disability, amputation, spinal cord injury and progressive neurological conditions.
  • Clients with cognitive impairments from brain injury, dementia and stroke.
  • Clients with congenital and childhood illnesses such as cerebral palsy and polio.

How does the DARP Work?

To start with DARP, a client has to be first referred by a registered doctor.

DARP clients go through a structured process to ensure their safety on the road and that of other road users. The following lists the key milestones of the DARP process:

  • Off Road Assessment: The client will be interviewed on their medical condition(s) and driving experience. The client’s physical, cognitive and visual abilities required for driving will be assessed.
  • On Road Assessment: This will be conducted by the DARP therapist with a certified driving instructor. On Road Assessment for Class 2, 3, 4 and 5 vehicles are available.
  • DARP Report: Upon completion of the above two assessment types, a detailed report will be sent to the client, physician and other relevant organisations (if applicable) to advise on the client’s ability to return/learn to drive.
  • Follow-up: If there is a need for driving lessons or re-assessment, the DARP therapist will follow-up accordingly.

Other Driving Assessment Services

Driving Transition Programme

  • To help drivers and their family plan and adapt to the changes brought about by driving cessation.

To make an appointment or for further enquiries:
Tel: 68894848, Fax: 68894856

Download Driving Assessment and Rehabilitation Programme brochure (1.24 mb, PDF)


​This unit provides therapy for clients with life-threatening illness such as cancer and end stage organ failure. The goal of rehabilitation is to provide care that targets symptoms management in daily living and to help clients to maximise function at the end-of-life.

Range of services include:

  • Symptoms management (Fatigue, breathlessness and anxiety)
  • Assessment and re-training of self care activities
  • Prescription and use of adaptive equipment
  • Patient and caregiver education and training
  • Exploration of goals and leisure activities

​Occupational Therapists (OTs) often work with people living with chronic conditions.

They play an important role in providing self-management support, to achieve the person's health goals through engaging in meaningful activities. This includes facilitating individuals to gain skills and confidence to live well with one or more chronic conditions. These skills may be generic or specific to the medical conditions that the person has.

Occupational Therapists support patients with chronic conditions in self-management, for example:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heart conditions
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Low vision
  • Stroke
  • Mild memory problems

A Pocket Guide for Occupational Therapists in Singapore

This guide was developed to enable OTs to support our clients in self-management. Stories of how self-management has helped people living with chronic diseases are also shared.


​What is Occupational Therapy Low Vision Rehabilitation?

Low vision is a visual impairment that affects your daily activities, such as reading and writing. In low vision, there is still usable vision. Occupational Therapy helps you to use your remaining vision to complete daily activities safely and independently. The aim of the programme is to enable people with low vision to live productive and independent lives.

Who will benefit from this service?

  • Individuals with low vision who have problems with daily activities and wish to continue doing these activities will benefit from this service. This includes individuals with low vision due to conditions like:
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Traumatic or Acquired Brain Injury

Range of services include:

  • Visual and functional assessments
  • Training on skills to use remaining vision more efficiently for daily activities
  • Use of assistive technology for daily living
  • Home modification to increase safety and independence
  • Orientation and Mobility

Download Low Vision Rehabilitation brochure (703 kb, PDF)








List of Conditions & Treatments

2019/01/21

List of Related Clinics

Clinic B1C
Contact information
6889 4785
(Physiotherapy)
 
6889 4848
(Occupational Therapy Clinic)

6889 4828
(Sports Medicine & Surgery Clinic)
 
6889 4828
(Upper GI, Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery Service)
Fax
6889 4856
6357 8306
Location
Level B1
Operating hours
Monday to Friday:
8.00 am to 5.00 pm
 
Saturday:
8.00 am to 12.00 pm
 
Eve of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year:
8.00 am to 12.00 pm
 
Sunday & Public Holiday:
Closed
2019/11/13

List of Specialists

2019/06/13
2019/09/10
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