Occupational therapy

Occupational therapists can help you maximise independence, safety, comfort and personal satisfaction and, in doing so, improve your sense of well-being and quality of life.

The term occupation refers to the fundamental tasks that people ‘want to, need to, or are expected to’ perform in order to care for themselves. These tasks are referred to as activities of daily living and include: basic self-care tasks such as showering and dressing; domestic activities such as cooking and cleaning; and community activities such as shopping, working or participating in recreational activities.

The ability to perform these tasks and engage in important life roles can be significantly affected by cancer and its treatment.

How an occupational therapist can help you

Occupational therapists will work with you, your family and your treating team to identify and address issues you feel may be limiting your function.

As a result of your cancer or its treatment, you may experience short or long-term side-effects which can impact on your ability to perform everyday activities, including:

  • shortness of breath
  • cancer related fatigue
  • pain or discomfort
  • altered strength, movement or sensation
  • difficulty with your thinking (e.g. memory, concentration and ability to plan tasks)
  • changes to your vision.

These side-effects may impact your ability to:

  • shower, dress and go to the toilet
  • bend and reach
  • comfortably manage tasks
  • recover your breath or energy after activity
  • walk, manage stairs and get up from chairs, the toilet and/or your bed
  • position yourself comfortably in bed or chairs
  • drive safely.

Depending on your symptoms, the occupational therapist may provide advice relating to:

  • improving safety and independence with performing daily activities at home and in the community
  • setting up your home to better support you and your family to manage cancer and its side-effects.

Referral information

Patients, their families and carers can make direct contact with the Occupational Therapy team.

If a member of your treating team believes you might benefit from seeing an occupational therapist, they will organise the necessary referrals for you.

Peter Mac's Occupational Therapy team


Occupational therapy

Phone: 03 8559 5220

Fax: 03 8559 5229

Email: [email protected]

Related experts

Celia Marston - Occupational Therapy Clinical Lead

Anthea Udovicich - Senior Occupational Therapist

Laura Langdon - Occupational Therapist

Ciara O'Brien - Occupational Therapist

Olivia Warner - Occupational Therapist

Rachel Allan - Occupational Therapist

Mai-Anh Groves - Occupational Therapist