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To date, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of Occupational Therapy (OT) services delivered outside in nature. This study explored the benefits of OT intervention in Natural Settings (NS) for children by examining development in the areas of self-regulation, social skills, sensory processing, confidence, and motor skills. A quantitative, quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design was used in this study. Researchers partnered with a local outpatient OT clinic that offers an 8-week outdoor program. Seven children and their parents were recruited and participated in the study. A modified version of the COPM and two BOT-2 subtests, along with a novel log climb measure were used to track changes among participants. Results showed that performance and satisfaction ratings as well as scores from the balance and catching subtests from the BOT-2 generally improved from pre-test to post-test after the eight weeks. Additionally, the speed, efficiency and quality of movement data gathered from the novel log climb generally improved by the end of the 8-week period. Overall, though there are several limitations to the study, the data showed improvement in key areas across parent reports and motor skill measures.

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Natural Settings (NS), Occupational Therapy (OT), Pediatrics, Outdoor, Children, Self-regulation, Social skills, Sensory processing, Confidence, Motor skills


Occupational Therapy

Measuring Outcomes of Occupational Therapy Facilitated in Natural Settings with Young Children