Occupational therapy management refers to a rehabilitation program that helps individuals maintain or improve their ability to perform their activities of daily living. The occupational therapist typically works with patients who suffer from either physical, mental or developmental conditions. In addition, the occupational therapist may assist the patient to manage his motor functions as they relate to upper body strength. Included in these functions are bathing, dressing and grooming.
Typically, individuals for whom occupational therapy management is prescribed are recovering from such ailments as back pain, the effects of a stroke or spinal cord injury. Muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy patients may benefit from occupational therapy management as well. In these patients, the occupational therapist generally assists in the use of adaptive equipment. Types of adaptive equipment that are incorporated into occupational therapy instruction include wheelchairs, walkers, and built-up eating utensils.
Frequently, occupational therapy management incorporates the use of computer software programs. Occupational therapy computer programs can help the patient improve his decision making skills as well as problem solving and perception skills. Oftentimes, when a patient has a stroke, his reasoning skills and ability to problem solve are impaired. Generally, the occupational therapist can help the patient improve these skills to increase his ability to communicate and to better control situations in his living or working environment.
Often, the occupational therapy management protocol will be instituted not only with the older patients, but with pediatric patients as well. For example, schools may employ an occupational therapist to assess and manage a disabled or injured student's capabilities and recommend a therapeutic protocol. In addition, occupational therapy management protocol in schools may include the modification of equipment as it pertains to the classroom and helping the child to participate in sports and other educational activities.
Sometimes, a pediatric occupational therapist may work with groups of children. Occasionally, pediatric occupational therapy management may provide early therapeutic intervention to infants and children of toddler age who are shown to have developmental set backs or delays. Typically, in these situations, occupational therapy management may be comprised of training the patient in the use of fine motor skills. In addition to training the patient in the proper use of his hands, the therapist may teach listening, dressing and grooming skills.
Occasionally, the occupational therapist will be utilized in a mental health environment. Patients who may benefit from occupational therapy in this setting include those who are emotionally disturbed and those who need assistance in coping with day-to-day living. These patients suffer from such conditions as depression, eating disorders or substance abuse problems.