What’s the role of occupational therapy in Neuro Rehabilitation?

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is being defined as a process of rehabilitation of patients of different age groups who have undergone a serious injury, prolonged illness, impairment of cognitive health, mental illnesses of different kinds, issues related to development, learning, or any physical disability with the aim of maximizing their independence. A professional occupational therapist’s major target is to optimally maximize the recovering patient’s independence in different aspects of day to day functioning. The various effective occupational therapy sessions focus on the patients in several activities with the aim of assisting them in achieving the patient’s health goals so that they regain the normal state of independence, required productivity and the desired satisfaction. The complete process facilitates the patient to possess the desired sense of increased self-efficacy, purpose, competence, autonomy and ultimately the much-desired wholeness.

Occupational Therapy and Neuro-rehabilitation

The professional Occupational therapists hold a pivotal role in the proper evaluation and treatment of an individual who has sustained a brain injury or been through a prolonged neurological illness. The focus of occupational therapy is to approach the patient’s care in a holistic manner. This majorly involves the detailed interviewing of the patient as well as family, in order to completely understand his or her overall medical, vocational, social, and emotional history in a nutshell. A professional occupational therapist will primarily utilize the complete information obtained in order to lead the treatment program and more accurately evaluate the patient’s level of impairment in the diverse performance areas. Patients with serious neurological disorders or injuries may demonstrate different types of impairments that may or may not be consistent with their diagnosis.

When a person has a knee replacement, they will certainly have a weakness toward the lower extremity, pain, and impaired range of motion. When a particular person has sustained a neurological injury, there may be different parts of the brain that were affected in a more subtle way which may not reflect during the course of diagnosis. For example, when a person has hydrocephalus as a major complication to an original focal injury, then the pressure may be from a diffuse effect on the brain and eventually produce functional impairments that were unexpected based on the preliminary diagnosis. The professional occupational therapists who work with brain-injured patients must be proficient in assessing how the physical, cognitive, and the behavioral impairments primarily affect the different activities of daily living. A productive activity analysis of every task is performed and is often used to guide the entire course of rehabilitation.

Evaluation and Treatment

The evaluation of neurological disorder or injury is initiated by a thorough clinical interview, which should include open-ended questioning regarding several social, medical, vocational history, physical and social environment, as well as family and self-assessment of the individual’s current level of functioning in various aspects. The results will thoroughly provide the therapist with a clear picture of the person’s former functioning, current insight, and the awareness of limitations. It is extremely crucial to note the individual’s level of insight. If it is impaired, safety may indeed be of significant concern. In order to assess the level of the insight completely, the therapist will compare the individual’s self-assessment of functioning with the therapist’s observation, family report, and objective findings.

Following this particular interview, the standardized assessments are being utilized, in order to quantify all the found out deficits objectively. These include the tests of motor, perceptual, attention, and the executive functions as well. The interpretation of both the interview and the formal test results in facilitating the generation of a problem list. A completely organized treatment plan and short- and long-term goals are being carefully formulated with the survivor’s input. When appropriate, the survivor’s family will also participate in the goal formation. In cases of brain injury, the overall evaluation and steps of treatment are closely connected. As the individual progresses, the therapist must continue to assess, analyze, and appropriately gauge the overall treatment plan. He/she does so by continually re-assessing an individual’s insight and the set of abilities across a hierarchy of tasks and by assessing the strategies that an individual uses when faced with a problem.

The Best Approach of conducting neurological rehabilitation through Occupational Therapy

Professional occupational therapists provide the most relevant, customized, timely and goal- oriented rehabilitation programs to the clients either in their homes or in communities. This collaborative approach by keeping pace with the world-class standards, the professional therapists ensure rehabilitation is primarily focused towards practical improvements. The intention of the best occupational therapists is to help the clients and their families to make them independent and lead a normal life without any special aid. The result driven occupational therapy is being delivered by the well-trained and experienced expert therapists.

Why is OT the best way of neurological rehabilitation?

  • Occupational therapists believe that their role is to equip the clients with the necessary skills that are required to become independent and lead a normal life on their own without any special aid or attention.
  • The Occupational therapists always provide the much needed expert advice that is customized as per the patient’s need. Their holistic way of functional rehabilitation is being adopted and all inquiries of the patient’s family are being answered by the expert occupational therapists.
  • Using occupational therapy for neurological rehabilitation will enable the patient and his/her family add independence to their daily life.
  • The large rehabilitation therapy provider organizations have the best therapists as per the clinical requirement. So, it is easy for the patient and his or her family to seek for best outcomes of occupational therapy.

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