Germany National OT News Archive

News from Germany, 2017

One of the main topics DVE had focused up to now this year was related to the federal elections 2017 taking place in Germany this fall. One of our first steps was to identify relevant political topics crucial for the further development of our profession and publish these in our association’s journal. Our demands were and still are e.g. to create sustainable financing for occupational therapy, to adequately compensate for OT services, to develop appropriate working conditions, to enable direct access to OT services, to make OT programs more attractive, to improve the framework for science and research in OT etc.

We then provided our members with factsheets relating to the identified topics in order to enable our members to talk to members of parliament as well as candidates and raise the importance of occupational therapy for providing health services now and in the future. We followed up on our actions taken and invited politicians to our yearly congress and had a panel discussion. We made it clear that in order to meet societal changes and to secure the next generation of OTs we need modern and tuition-free academic OT programs, an increase in remuneration and more autonomy for occupational therapy and other health professions.

Moreover, for the first time in history, DVE can negotiate reimbursement with health insurances for outpatient services, without being limited to the increase in basic wage rates in percent. This is the first step to achieve adequate compensation in private practices, which represents approximately 50 percent of our workforce.

As of this year, our EBP-Database has been partially opened to non-members who can conduct a simple search in the database. The database includes more than 2200 German summaries and appraisals of studies on the efficacy, benefit and (cost) effectiveness of OT or OT-related interventions. The goal was to underline the importance of EBP, to support the implementation of evidence-based practice, to provide free accessible Plain Language Summaries in cooperation with Cochrane, and to make the EBP database widely known and known outside of our profession as well.

News from Germany, 2014

Germany’s Association of Occupational Therapists (DVE) celebrated its 60thanniversary this year at its yearly convention with over 1300 visitors. The jubilee edition of the DVE’s journal and an interview with two occupational therapists from two different generations can be viewed and downloaded here

The World OT Day is gaining more popularity and yearly more Occupational Therapists, in schools, private practices and other institutions are actively taking part in various projects around this event.

The DVE is continuously extending its online database of articles which are relevant to evidence based practice in occupational therapy (members only). Relevant articles are summarized in German and the quality of the research article is critically appraised and rated using either the PRISMA Statement or PEDro depending on the type of study. The DVE, among other associations of health care professionals, will have a meeting with the Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe in order to discuss relevant topics around the German health care system and higher education for health professionals in Germany.

News from Germany, December 2012

This years annual OT congress took place in Kassel which was attended by 1300 visitors. Prof. Dr. Helen Polatajko held the opening speech on the subject of Occupational Science after which visitors had the possibility to attend various speeches and workshops and network amongst other professionals. During breaks visitors could attend almost 80 exhibitions and visit the poster exhibition. Next years congress will be held in Bielefeld.

Once again the German Association supported the WFOT Occupational Therapy International Day and offered a country-wide telephone campaign. Over 100 occupational therapists participated in the campaign and gave answers to those wishing to learn more about occupational therapy.

Germany’s national association wants to contribute to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and has released an action plan stating how occupational therapy can contribute to the matter.

News from Germany, September 2011

In May 2011 this year´s annual OT congress took place in Erfurt welcoming 1200 visitors. The event was accompanied by a variety of speeches and workshops as well as a poster competition. An exhibition presenting old and new therapeutic concepts and material provided an ideal platform to refresh personal and professional relationships.

On July 1st COTEC´s executive board visited the head office of Germany’s National Occupational Therapy Association (DVE) in Karlsbad. The meeting was held as COTEC is now a legal entity registered in Germany. Germany’s Association is providing the official address for COTEC while its office still remains in London. During this meeting topics in relation to organizational matters were discussed next to political matters including strategies to enforce political activities in the EU. In regard to the upcoming COTEC Picture Poster Competition ideas concerning public relations were shared, as well.

The German Association is supporting the WFOT Occupational Therapy International Day and launched a website with information and promotional material. If you are interested please follow this links:

At present our association is developing an action plan concerning the “UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. In order to promote the special potentials of Occupational Therapy regarding inclusion in Germany, the need for action, problems as well as resources and measures will be identified. More detailed information about this project can be presented next year.

Gela Maurer, Renée Oltman

News from Germany, 2011

A major achievement in 2010 was the completion of an evidence based  practice data base which can be accessed through the association’s website and is available to members of the German National Association (DVE) only. It contains 1400 critically appraised studies on the effectiveness of occupational therapy Interventions. The data base is being updated on a regular basis and studies are translated successively in German language with regard to contents. The goal of the DVE is to facilitate access to evidence based studies and its implementation in daily practice.

Traditionally, occupational therapy has been a three year school based education. In 2009 a new law was passed regarding the academic education of occupational therapists allowing universities to offer a bachelor degree in combination with state recognition which e.g. is necessary in order to work as an occupational therapist in Germany. The law is temporarily effective until 2017 and the outcome will be evaluated 2015. In2010 the newly founded State University of Applied Sciences for Health was opened in Bochum. This is a keystone in the German educational system. Next to other private universities who offer academic degrees in the health professions since 1999, Bochum is the first state university which offers an academic degree in addition with state recognition for occupational therapist, physiotherapists, speech therapist, midwives and nurses.

For the first time a symposium for health promotion and prevention in occupational therapy took place for the German speaking countries and was held in Innsbruck (Austria). The cooperating countries included the Austrian, Swiss and German Association and the regional group from South Tyrol. Occupational Therapists and other health professionals presented topics concerning health promotion and prevention in practice and research.
Up to date ErgoScience has been the only German journal for scientific publications on topics regarding occupational therapy. At the end of 2010 this journal was discontinued. The Swiss and German National Associations decided to support this journal in cooperation with the Schulz Kirchner Verlag (German Publisher) in order to continue this important work and provide access to scientific studies for the German speaking countries.