An exploration of how occupational therapists assess sleep in Singapore.
Sleep difficulties are becoming increasingly common, and could have severe impacts on human functioning and participation in meaningful activities such as driving or work. Working with people with sleep difficulties has become an emerging area of practice for occupational therapy, an allied health profession concerned with the engagement in occupations (meaningful activities that people spend time doing). Occupational therapists would be concerned with how sleep is affecting a person’s health and overall wellbeing; and how a person’s health and routine, wakeful activities and environment are affecting their sleep. Literature suggests several ways through which occupational therapists may assess sleep, but few studies specifically discuss occupational therapy sleep assessments. Despite the growth in the literature body surrounding sleep, there is still a scarcity of literature surrounding occupational therapy and sleep. This study will engage in the experience and expertise of 12 occupational therapists to provide insight into how occupational therapists assess sleep in terms of the assessments they use, the theory informing their assessments, and any possible challenges they think occupational therapy may face in the assessment of sleep. Findings will shed light on this novel area of practice and inform future research and the development of sleep assessment tools specific to occupational therapy. This will help facilitate the growth of occupational therapy’s role and practice in relation to managing sleep disturbances and promoting restful sleep.