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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

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Published by manu sethi

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Published by: manu sethi on Apr 10, 2010
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Serious mental illness may be associated with various kinds of disability which makes itdifficult for the person to fulfill normal expected social roles. Occupational therapy &rehabilitation work at the core of psychiatry, seeking help these most severely disabled bythe most serious psychiatry disorders.Occupational therapy is a health profession that focuses on helping individuals withmental or physical illness/disabilities to achieve the highest level of functioning andwellness possible in their daily lives. In other words occupational therapy is skilledtreatment that helps individuals with disabilities, achieve independence in all facets of their lives. This includes performance of all daily normal activities in work, play, leisureetc.
Occupational therapy is the application of goal-oriented, purposeful activity in theassessment & treatment of individuals with psychological, physical or developmentaldisabilities.
History of occupational therapy
The earliest evidence of using occupations as a therapeutic modality can be found inancient times. One-hundred years before the birth of Christ, Greek physician Asclepiadesinitiated humane treatment of patients with mental illness via the use of therapeutic baths,massage, exercise, and music. Later, the Roman Celsus prescribed music, travel,conversation and exercise to his patients.In eighteenth century Europe, revolutionaries such as Philippe Pinel and Johann ChristianReil reformed the hospital system. Instead of the use of metal chains and restraint, their institutions utilized rigorous work and leisure activities in the late 1700s. .The emergence of occupational therapy challenged the views of mainstream scientificmedicine. Instead of focusing on purely physical etiologies, they argued that a complexcombination of social, economic, and biological reasons cause dysfunction. Principlesand techniques were borrowed from many disciplines—including but not limited tonursing, psychiatry, rehabilitation, self-help, orthopedics, and social work—to enrich the profession’s scope. Between 1900 and 1930, the founders defined the realm of practiceand developed theories of practice. In a short 20-year span, they successfully convincedthe public and medical world of the value of occupational therapy and establishedstandards for the profession.
In 1912, renowned psychiatrist Adolph Meyer appointed Slagle to direct a newdepartment of occupational therapy at John Hopkins Hospital. There, she learned habittraining—a method of re-educating patients on decent habits of living via substitutinghealthful habits for bad habits
.Another psychiatrist, William Rush Dunton, Jr., worked diligently to raise the status of  psychiatry in medicine in the first decades of the 20th century. He viewed occupationaltherapy as complementary to psychiatry, as it had the promise of meshing humanitarianvalues with science.The first meeting of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy washeld in March 1917. Barton (along with his secretary), Eleanor Clark Slagle, WilliamRush Dunton Jr., Thomas B. Kinder, and Susan Cox Johnson were the only six inattendance. In the fall of 1919, at the third meeting, 300 attendees participated. In 1921,the name of the organization was changed to the American Occupational TherapyAssociation and the Archives of Occupational Therapy, the first professional journal, began publication.
Evolution of the philosophy of occupational therapy
The philosophyof occupational therapy has evolved over the history of the profession.The philosophy articulated by the founders that have owed much to the idealsof romanticism, pragmatismandhumanismwhich are collectively considered the fundamental ideologies of the past century
William Rush Dunton, the creator of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy, now the American Occupational Therapy Association, sought to promote the ideas that occupation is a basic human need, and that occupation wastherapeutic. From his statements, came some of the basic assumptions of occupationaltherapy, which include:
Occupation has an effect on health and well-being.
Occupation creates structure and organizes time.
Occupation brings meaning to life, culturally and personally.
Occupations are individual. People value different occupations.
Current occupational therapy theory presents a number of theoretical models .These are:1.Adaptive Performance model (By Filder et al): which emphasis on the integrationof dynamic or rehabilitative concepts.(focus is on the development or reactivationof ego-adaptive skills).2.Occupational behavior Model: This is based on social role theory & the psychological theories of achievement, motivation & problem solving and personality development, concerns itself with skills & relevant behavior necessaryfor particular individual’s role within their social context.3. Neurobehavioral Model: It focuses on the normalization of sensory & motor  pathways & their integration with the environment in order to promote bodyintegration, cognitive orientation & conceptualization and manipulation of socialskills.
Occupational therapy may be initially & an important step in rehabilitation. It has thefollowing advantages:
It maintains the normal habits of work.
It stimulates work.
It aids focusing of attention & integration.
It provides an incentive & a goal.
It directs the patient’s energies to work.
It diverts the patient’s attention from himself on to other things.
It may teach the patient a new skill or hobby.
It enables the patient to have a feeling of achievement when he completes thetask.
It increases the patient’s self-esteem as he feels doing something useful & pridein achievement.
It helps to make the patient more accessible & more co-operative with other forms of therapy.
It aids products of positive attitudes & help decision making capacity.
Occupational therapy has the following aims:
Promotion of recovery.
Mobilization of total assets of the patient.

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