History of Occupational Therapy

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Final Paper Assignment
OTA 101
April 22, 2013
Reggie Thompson

Abstract

This paper is entitled “What is Occupational Therapy?” This paper will include an in depth definition and meaning of occupational therapy and over view of the profession. Where it began and who helped mold it into the current practice. Also the paper will discuss the various employment settings, the education requirements and the appropriate accreditations as well as the numerous organizations affiliated with the practice of occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy (OT) takes holistic approach rather than a reductionistic view. This allows the therapist to treat the client as a whole and not person comprised of several separate parts. This can help in the therapeutic process. During this process the therapist will utilize useful and creative activities to promote psychological or physical rehabilitation. OT is the use of treatments to develop, recover or maintain the daily living and work skills of clients with physical, cognitive or developmental conditions. It is a client-centered practice that places a high level of importance on progressing towards a client’s goals. Interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill and educating the client and family members. This will increase participation and the performance of the daily activities. Activities can be performed with individuals or in groups. Employment settings vary and categorized as biological (medical), sociological (social), psychological, all-inclusive, private practice and non-traditional. Hospitals, clinics, worksites (industry), home health, and skilled nursing facilities are examples of biological settings. Schools (public, special visual/hearing impairment, cerebral palsy), day treatment, hippotherapy centers, workshops, Special Olympics, summer camps make up the sociological settings. Institutions (psychiatric/mental retardation), community mental health, teen centers, supervised living, and after school programs are part of the psychological settings. Long-term care is in the all-inclusive category. Self-defined represents private practice settings. Correctional facilities, hospice and national societies are non-traditional settings (Hussey, Sabonis-Chafee and O’Brien, 2007). Non- traditional settings are growing due to the evolving and diverse need for occupational therapy, services. Services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness to those who have or at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, limited or restricted in participation (Hussey,Sabonis-Chafee and O’Brien,2001). Therapy deals with physical, cognitive, psychosocial and other aspects that may impact performance. The goal is to engage clients into everyday meaningful occupations and improving their quality of life. This can be achieved by incorporating the client and family through out the entire therapeutic process. During rehabilitation the therapist applies specific knowledge to enable people to engage in activities of daily living that have personal meaning and value. Therapist will develop, improve sustain or restore independence. It’s critical to consult with caregivers and any other people that are involved in a client’s life. Consulting aids in the development and evaluation of treatments and will increases the client’s ability to participate in satisfying activities. Evaluation will also address the person’s capacity to perform an activity in their chosen environment. The end result should be a client acquiring the necessary skills, which allow them to function in their communities and surroundings.

History
The earliest evidence of using occupations as a method of therapy can be found in ancient times. In c. 100 BCE, Greek physician Asclepiadas initiated humane treatment of patients with mental illness using therapeutic...
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