Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) Honours


School of Exercise and Health Sciences


Health, Engineering and Science

First Advisor

Ms Rachel Batten

Second Advisor

Dr Janet Richmond

Third Advisor

Professor Ruth Marquis


Background/Aim: Children and adolescents experiencing anxiety find it challenging to maintain optimal occupational performance, thus the specific role of occupational therapy in the management of anxiety requires investigation. This narrative review examines the current available literature surrounding the use of occupational therapy approaches for children and adolescents experiencing anxiety.

Methods: Academic journals as well as a variety of sources were considered, due to the paucity of literature surrounding this topic. Articles were included if they discussed the occupational therapy role in treatment of children experiencing anxiety symptoms, including anxiety related disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Results: A total of eight articles that satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria were included, in addition to other publications that referred to occupational therapy approaches with children or adolescents with a co-morbidity of anxiety. The findings are presented in the format of the Person Environment Occupation (PEO) model.

Conclusions: Occupational therapy approaches include sensory based interventions, the use of creative activity within a counselling context and occupation based group therapy programs. Psycho-education as well as family and caregiver involvement during the therapy process was identified as an important occupational therapy role.

Significance of the study: Further rigorous research regarding specific occupational therapy approaches is warranted to provide best practice guidelines for therapists involved in the treatment of anxiety for this population group.