Occupational Therapy

occupat therapyOccupational Therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation i.e. therapeutic goal directed purposeful activities. The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in activities of daily living. The Occupational Therapist achieves this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation. It involves analysis of physical, environmental, psycho-social, mental, spiritual and cultural factors to identify barrier to occupation.

Process of Occupational Therapy includes:
  1. Evaluation of factors affecting activities of daily living (ADL),instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), education, work, play, leisure, and social participation.
  2. Detailed assessment of neuromuscular, sensory, visual, perceptual, and cognitive functions along with body structures (such as cardiovascular, digestive, genitourinary systems), Performance skills, including motor, process, and communication/interaction skills. Habits, routines, roles, and behavior patterns with Cultural, physical, environmental, social, and spiritual environment and activity demands that affect performance
  3. Methods or strategies selected to direct the process of interventions such as: – Establishment, remediation, or restoration of a skill or ability that has not yet developed or is impaired.
  4. Compensation, modification, or adaptation of activity or environment and, maintenance and enhancement of capabilities without which performance in everyday life activities would decline. Prevention of barriers to performance, including Disability Prevention
  5. Health promotion and wellness to enable or enhance performance in everyday life activities.
  6. Interventions and procedures to promote or enhance safety and performance in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)
  7. Therapeutic use of occupations, exercises, and activities. Training in self-care, self management, home management, and community/ work reintegration. Therapeutic use of self, including one’s personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments, as part of the therapeutic process.
  8. Development, remediation, education and training of individuals, including family members, caregivers, and others.
  9. Care coordination, case management, and transition services. Consultative services to groups, programs, organizations, or communities.
  10. Modification of environments (home, work, school, or community) and adaptation of processes, including the application of ergonomic principles.
  11. Assessment, design, fabrication, application, fitting, and training in assistive technology, adaptive devices, and orthotic devices, and training in the use of prosthetic devices
  12. Driver rehabilitation and community mobility
  13. Assessment, recommendation, and training in techniques to enhance functional mobility, including wheelchair management
  14. Management of feeding, eating, dressing, hygiene; Application of physical agent moralities, and use of a range of specific therapeutic procedures (such as wound care management; techniques to enhance sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processing) to enhance performance skills.

“Occupational therapy” means the analysis and use of purposeful activity with individuals who are limited by physical injury or illness, developmental or learning disabilities, psycho-social dysfunctions or the aging process in order to maximize independence, prevent disability and maintain health.

It is a health care profession that enables an individual to do what he needs to do and wants to do. Occupational therapy is a skilled treatment that helps an individual to achieve independence in all areas of life and assists people in developing the “skills for the job of living” necessary for independent and satisfying lives.

Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psycho social, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of environment to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well being, and quality of life.

Occupational therapists (OT)

Occupational therapists (OT) help people who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments.

  • They also help them develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills.
  • They use meaningful activities as a treatment media to help patient regain their life’s roles and abilities for activities of daily living, work, play and leisure by modification or adaptation of the person, environment or the occupation.
  •  They uses a holistic approach to health care and treatment.
  • They work with the individual, their family and other health professionals.
  • They treat the individual as a whole considering the physical, psychological, spiritual aspects.
  • Their goal is to maximize skills for living, which enhance personal productivity, well-being and quality of life.

Occupational therapy (OT) treatment focuses on helping people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. OT can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.

Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; kids, after all, do not have occupations. But a child’s main job is playing and learning, and occupational therapists can evaluate kids’ skills for playing, school performance

Occupational therapists might:
  • help kids work on fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills
  • Address hand-eye coordination to improve kids’ play and school skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, etc.)
  • help kids with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
  • help kids with behavioral disorders maintain positive behaviors in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)
  • teach kids with physical disabilities the coordination skills needed to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting
  • evaluate a child’s need for specialized equipment, such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids
  • work with kids who have sensory and attention issues to improve focus and social skills

The process of providing occupational therapy intervention may involve the therapeutic use of occupation as a “means” or method of changing performance. The “end” of the occupational therapy intervention process occurs with the client’s improved engagement in meaningful occupation.

Both terms, occupation and activity, are used by occupational therapists to describe participation in daily life pursuits. Occupations are generally viewed as activities having unique meaning and purpose in a person’s life. Occupations are central to a person’s identity and competence, and they influence how one spends time and makes decisions. The term activity describes a general class of human actions that is goal directed. A person may participate in activities to achieve a goal, but these activities do not assume a place of central importance or meaning for the person.

Occupational therapists value both occupation and activity and recognize their importance and influence on health and well being.They focus on the following occupations: activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, education, leisure, play, social participation, and work. The occupational therapy service delivery process includes evaluation, intervention, and outcomes.During the evaluation, the occupational therapist must gain an understanding of the client’s priorities and his or her problems engaging in occupations and activities.

Evaluation and intervention address factors that influence occupational performance, including:

  • Performance skills (e.g., motor, process, and communication/ interaction skills);
  • Performance patterns (e.g., as habits, routines, and roles);
  • Context (e.g., physical and social environments);
  • Activity demands (e.g., required actions and body functions); and
  • Client factors (e.g., neuromuscular, sensory, visual, perceptual, digestive, cardiovascular, systems).