What Is Bariatrics?
Bariatrics is the branch o medicine that addressesthe causes, prevention, and treatment o obesity.Approximately 400 million adults are classifed asobese around the world (World Health Organization[WHO], 2009), and by 2015 there may be 700million adults with this condition. Obesity canlead to serious health risks, such as cardiovasculardisease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, andcancer (WHO, 2009). Obesity also contributes topsychosocial and societal problems resulting in jobabsenteeism, less education, ewer housing and workopportunities, restricted access to health care, andreduced social participation due to a societal stigma(American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2007). Individuals with obesity ace limitations in theirability to execute daily activities, especially i they have other medical complications or comorbidities.Some health care settings use a multidisciplinary team approach to bariatric intervention. Team members mayinclude bariatric physicians, advanced practice nurses, dieticians, social workers, case managers, pharmacists,physical therapists, and occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. Occupational therapypractitioners have a unique role on these teams as they are equipped with skills to address patients’ unctional andenvironmental limitations, as opposed to the historical emphasis on remediating medical defcits.
The Role of Occupational Therapy in Bariatrics
Occupational therapy practitioners can help individuals with obesity change their liestyle, engage in meaningulactivities, and manage their weight (AOTA, 2007). Practitioners use an individualized, client-centered approach toidentiy barriers to perormance o meaningul and necessary activities. They assist and support liestyle changes orindividuals with obesity through interventions that ocus on health promotion, disease prevention, remediation,adaptation, and maintenance (AOTA, 2007). Education and customized, collaborative intervention planning are usedto promote eective habit building to meet the individual’s goals (AOTA, 2007). Occupational therapy practitionersmay also recommend adaptations to the environment or to the task itsel to improve the client’s perormance.Occupational therapy practitioners can provide services to individuals receiving specialized bariatric care, or toindividuals with other medical conditions who have obesity as a secondary diagnosis, to enhance their unctionalcapabilities in the ollowing areas:• Activities o daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and toileting, with particular attention to areasrequiring sufcient reach and exibility (e.g., washing and drying the buttocks, back, and eet).• The use o proper and sae durable medical equipment, such as a tub bench or adaptive equipment ordressing.• Home modifcations to promote activity participation and improved environmental access.• Individualized therapeutic exercises to enhance strength or improved occupational perormance andincreased ftness.
Occupational Therapy’s Role in
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