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What is occupational therapy

South City Hospital > For Patients > Occupational Therapy > What is occupational therapy

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational Therapy is therapy through some purposeful activity (through work or play) to achieve utmost independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and live a normal life in spite of their disability. Thus an occupational therapist evaluates patients whose functional abilities have been impaired.

Occupational Therapy can help infants and children with problems and diagnoses such as:

  • Multiply handicapping conditions including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and residual disabilities related to viral infection and trauma
  • Developmental disabilities including mental retardation, spina bifida, and congenital anomalies
  • Pediatric collagen diseases including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Neonatalogical conditions including high-risk infants
  • Learning disabilities including dyslexia, delayed motor development, and scholastic underachievement
  • Emotional disturbances, behavioral problems autism, and phobic behaviors

Early occupational therapy treatment for patients with these and other related problems can:
Facilitate normal development and stimulate early learning
Decrease the effect of pathology through neurodevelopmental and perceptual motor treatment
Improve motor development, self-concept, emotional maturation, perceptual-cognitive processes, and communication through sensory integrative therapy
Promote independence in essential life skills pertaining to self-care, mobility, and social adjustment

Occupational therapy referral is indicated for Adolescents and Young Adults with problems and diagnoses such as:
Family and social adjustment difficulties, including adolescent rebellion, alcohol, and drug abuse, pathological social behavior, and anorexia nervosa
Neurological deficits, such as head trauma and spinal cord lesions resulting from traumatic injuries Orthopedic disabilities as a result of accidents or disease; residual neurological, emotional, and learning deficits.

Occupational therapy treatment for patients with these and other related problems and diagnoses can:

  • Aid in the restoration of sensory and motor functions;
  • Increase mobility improve strength and endurance;
  • Include fabricating and monitoring of orthotic devices;
  • Stimulate healthy productive relational adjustments;
  • Explore pre-vocational and vocational skills.

Occupational therapy referral is indicated for Adults with problems and diagnoses such as:
Occupational injuries, amputations, hand trauma, and burns; vascular disease, including myocardial infarction, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and peripheral vascular diseases; emotional disturbances related to stress, inadequate learning skills, childbearing, parenting, and family adjustment problems; neurological dysfunction, including brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathy.

Occupational therapy treatment for patients with these and other related problems and diagnoses can:
Increase function through the use of therapeutic activity and instruction in the use of prescribed orthotic and prosthetic devices;
Aid in maintaining and improving endurance through energy conversation and work simplification techniques;
Include structured verbal and non-verbal activities to establish acceptable coping and life management skills.

Occupational Therapy can help the elderly with problems and diagnoses such as:
Arthritis conditions: debilitating disease, including heart disease, cancer, cerebral vascular accident, and Parkinson’s disease; impaired cognitive functions caused by organic brain syndrome or arterial sclerosis.

Occupational therapy treatment for patients with these and other related problems and diagnoses can:
Maintain or increase joint mobility, muscle strength, and physical endurance;
Provide sensorimotor therapy to diminish or prevent the degenerative process of aging;
Increase independence in activities of daily living and related self-care skills;
Provide objective assessment of cognitive function pertaining to independence in critical life management skills, such as money management, meal planning, and preparation;
Prescribe appropriate adaptive equipment to maintain or increase functional independence;
Provide assessment of the living environment and recommended adaptation to eliminate architectural barriers.

Occupational Therapy treatment is cost-effective

  • Prompt and appropriate treatment can often:
  • Contribute to a significant decrease in hospital length of stay.
  • Reduce the need for institutionalization;
  • Reduce workmen’s compensation payments by prompting early return to employment;
  • Reduce the amount of care and services required after discharge;
  • Prevent complications and further disability.