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  • Writer's pictureMR Waridah

Improving Patients' Quality of Life through Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Facilitating overall well-being and quality of life by supporting an individual's ability to engage in important and meaningful activities is one of the goals of occupational therapy. Through therapy, it is hoped that the patient will be able to carry out daily activities that previously could not be done alone. Based on this goal, it indirectly shows the important role of the occupational therapist. This article aims to explain about occupational therapy, starting from the definition, then the conditions that allow for the need for occupational therapy, and the roles of the occupational therapist.


DEFINITION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Occupational therapy (OT) is a branch of health care that helps clients of all ages who have physical, sensory, or cognitive problems. Occupational therapy can assist clients in regaining independence in all areas of their lives (Finlan, 2020). In this case, the role of occupational therapy is the occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists help overcome barriers that affect a person's emotional, social, and physical needs. To do this, they use daily activities, exercise, and other therapies (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2023). Occupational therapy interventions use activities of daily living (occupation) to promote the client's health, well-being, and ability to participate in important life activities.


CONDITIONS REQUIRING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND THE ROLES OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Conditions that generally require occupational therapy include (Himani, n. d, in MantraCare):

  1. Arthritis, is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Occupational therapists can help people with arthritis by teaching them how to properly care for their joints, and by giving them exercises that can help improve joint function.

  2. Autism spectrum disorder, is a developmental disorder that affects communication and social interactions. Occupational therapists can help people with autism spectrum disorder develop the skills they need to function in everyday life.

  3. Cerebral palsy (CP), is a neurological disorder that affects movement and muscle tone. Occupational therapists can help people with CP improve their motor skills and learn how to adapt to their deficiencies.

  4. Dementia, is a decline in cognitive abilities due to illness or injury. With the help of an occupational therapist, people with dementia can still live independently and participate in activities they enjoy.

  5. Down syndrome, this condition causes delays in physical, cognitive, and adaptive skills. Many children with Down syndrome require occupational therapy to help them develop the fine motor skills needed for everyday tasks such as feeding and dressing themselves.

  6. Stroke, this condition is often described as a "brain attack" and can sometimes be life-threatening. People who have had a stroke will experience paralysis on one side of their body as well as speech and vision problems. Occupational therapists can help patients regain some level of functionality and independence by working on activities of daily living, such as eating and dressing.

  7. Multiple sclerosis, is a condition that attacks the central nervous system. When a person has multiple sclerosis, their immune system attacks the central nervous system causing inflammation and damage to the myelin sheath. Therapists can help patients adapt to their new lifestyle and help with things like fatigue and pain.

  8. Parkinson's disease, occupational therapists can help by retraining patients in how to complete activities of daily living and by providing adaptive equipment.

  9. Carpal tunnel syndrome, this type of condition is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Occupational therapists can help by providing exercises, splints, and other treatments to relieve symptoms and improve hand function

  10. Asperger's, which is a condition on the autism spectrum. People with Asperger's often have difficulty with social interactions and may appear insensitive because they don't understand social cues. Occupational therapists can help people with this condition learn how to interact better with others.

CONCLUSION

Occupational therapy (OT) is a branch of health care that helps clients of all ages who have physical, sensory, or cognitive problems. Occupational therapy can assist clients in regaining client independence. There are 10 common conditions that require occupational therapy, including arthritis, autism, cerebral palsy, dementia, Down syndrome, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, carpal-tunnel syndrome, and Asperger's.

 
REFERENCES

American Occupational Therapy. (2023). What is occupational therapy?. Retrieved from

https://www.aota.org/about/what-is-ot

Finlan, T. (2020). Occupational Therapy. Retrieved from

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/occupational-therapy.html#:~:text=Occupational%20therapy%20(OT)%20is%20a,%2C%20social%2C%20and%20physical%20needs.

Himani. (n. d). 10 Conditions Occupational Therapists Treat. MantraCare. Retrieved from

https://mantracare.org/physiotherapy/conditions/conditions-occupational-therapists-treat/

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