An occupational therapist's ability to listen, explain, and empathize with clients can substantially affect patient satisfaction and care experience. Strong communication between therapists and clients has been shown to improve adherence to treatment and better patient health outcomes. Occupational therapists strive to build a strong relationship with their clients because it is essential in delivering high-quality care. Communication with clients must be timely, accurate and evidence-informed, transparent and culturally sensitive.
Client-centred care is foundational to occupational therapy practice and requires strong communication skills between therapists and their clients. Poor communication can damage trust between a client and an occupational therapist. Therapists are responsible for providing clients with adequate information to make an informed decision about their care. Without sufficient and relevant information, clients are not able to appropriately participate in shared-decision making. Occupational therapists must be diligent in ensuring they understand their client's wants and needs and help clients access and understand information relevant to their care.