06 September 2018 | Features | By Dr Vijay Janagama
For effective outcomes, occupational therapy sessions focus on the patient’s personalized requirements in several daily activities.
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Occupational Therapy is a specialized branch of rehabilitation program that focuses on maximizing the recovery of individual’s independence and functionality of day to day activities. Patients of different age groups who have undergone a serious injury, prolonged illness, impairment of cognitive functions, issues related to development, learning, or any physical disability are the common beneficiaries. A professional occupational therapist has a formal training to bring the best of one’s physical and functional recovery through hard times.
For effective outcomes, occupational therapy sessions focus on the patient’s personalized requirements in several daily activities. Whole program shall aim at assisting one in achieving their health goals to regain the normal state of independence, productivity and overall quality of life. Professionally handled occupational therapy programs will fetch additional benefits of increased self-esteem, purpose, competence, autonomy and ultimately the much-desired fulfilment.
Occupational Therapy & Neuro-Rehabilitation
Several neurological conditions like stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and myopathies require professional occupational therapy as a part of neuro rehab program. This begins with base evaluation and identification of realistic goals to work on. Therapeutic interventions are planned accordingly to achieve holistic recovery. Involvement of family members and having a complete understanding of medical, vocational, social, and emotional wellbeing will help better plan the recovery process.
Musculoskeletal injuries can lead to weakness of extremities, pain, and decreased range of motion. All these can lead to impaired functioning for which occupational therapy can be of great help.
Evaluation, Treatment & Motivation
The evaluation of neurological disorder or injury is initiated by a thorough clinical assessment, which should include open-ended questioning regarding several medical, social, emotional and vocational aspects of one’s life, as well understanding support from family and self-assessment of the individual’s current level of functioning in various aspects. The results will provide good information of patient’s perception about injury and his/her state of mind to adhere to the proposed occupational therapy program. It is extremely crucial to note the individual’s level of insight and plan the program so that he is motivated to adhere and achieve the desired goals. Depending on the risk factors, safety measures during the therapy will play a great role.
Following the base evaluation and treatment plan, the standardized assessments are being utilized to document baseline status and track the progress as it goes. These can include the tests of motor, sensory, attention, and the cognitive functions as well. The interpretation of both clinical and functional assessments will together be analyzed while charting out complete recovery path. A completely organized treatment plan is a compilation of baseline assessment, short- and long-term goals and interventions and evaluations at different timelines. All through the program, patient has to be empowered for better handling his/her recovery path. Specialized occupational therapy rehab kits might be of great value to add efficiency and empowerment to the recovery process.
Institutional approach is the best to achieve the most
Professional occupational therapists provide the most relevant, personalized, and goal- oriented rehabilitation programs to the patients either in their homes or in institutional setups like inpatient rehabilitation care. When done in institutional set up, Multi-Disciplinary collaborative care can bring the best in class results.
To summarize, occupational therapy is a specialized rehab program to enhance functionality, independence and quality of life in patients recovering from neurological or musculoskeletal injuries. Results are best, when occupational therapy is implemented by professionals in a monitored and collaborative environment at inpatient rehabilitation care facility.
Dr Vijay Janagama, Director- New Initiatives, SuVitas Holistic Healthcare