The number of veterans requiring occupational therapy is on the rise, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control. October is Occupational Therapy Month, and new data shows that adult veterans are more likely to need occupational therapy services than non-veterans.

From 2019 to 2020, 13 percent of veterans aged 25 to 64 required occupational therapy such as rehabilitative services, speech therapy and physical therapy, versus just 9 percent of non-veterans.

Those with a higher education level were more likely to receive therapy at an increasing rate. Statistics show that veterans with a high school diploma or less sought therapy at a rate of 11.5 percent, 13.1 percent among those with some college and 16.2 percent among those with a college degree or higher. 

Among non-veterans, the percentage who received therapy increased from 7.9 percent among those with a high school diploma or less to 9.4 percent among those with some college and to 9.8 percent among those with a college degree or higher.

Meanwhile, location played a significant role in access to care, with those who lived in more rural areas having a decreased level.  

More than 33 percent of disabled veterans received physical therapy, while 23 percent of non-veterans received care. 

Among veterans, men were as likely as women to receive therapy at 13 percent and 14 percent, respectively. This figure shifted among non-veterans, with 7.3 percent of men and 10 percent of women receiving therapy. 

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs recommends occupational therapy for veterans to ensure active and healthy lives, as well as participation in day-to-day activities.

The department emphasizes how occupational therapy can assist veterans in continuing to take care of their health needs. It can also help veterans prevent health declines by managing their daily health needs.