Focusing on Occupation: looking at some OT News articles

Focusing on Occupation: looking at some OT News articles

Adapting recipes
People with LD struggle with more complex or abstract elements of recipes, and recipes often assume certain knowledge such as preheating the oven or how to prepare the vegetables. The OT devised a cook book specially for LD that they could follow easily. They involved different experts to consult on areas outside of her expertise, eg food safety or nutrition.
An OT by another name?
An OT is based at carpal tunnel syndrome clinic, and is performing surgical procedures such as steroid injections usually carried out by nurses. Blurring of the traditional OT role scope…. but OT cannot prescribe so she needs a prescription authorised by another health professional before she can carry out injections. Benefit of the role is that it increases access for patients to this treatment. Patients can discuss treatment and leave feedback on an innovative website, which also has a self-diagnosis questionnaire for CTS. (
From OT to case manager
Ot went from to spinal injury case manager. She used her transferable skills as discharge planner to organise care for spinal injury patients. It involves a lot of liaising with other agencies such as DWP, councils, etc, and beiong able to advocate on the patients’ behalf if they re vulnerable (eg homeless, MH).
Let me in
Self-care is not just hygiene, it has therapeutic benefits like motivation, self-soothing and confidence. In a MH inptaient ward, should males be allowed to join in on female self-care sessions? Do they have a right to that as an occupation, or is it ruining the safe space for females to discuss their bodies without judgement? Self care is large part of our daily routine and intrinsically linked to our sense of self and confidence.

Discussion points

  • –What did you learn?
  • –What did you want to know more about?
  • –What is the innovative element?
  • –Why is it needed?
  • –What added value comes from occupational therapy involvement?
  • –Has an occupational perspective shaped the innovation? To what extent?




References- articles from OT News magazine

Delaney K (2014) Adapting recipes. OT News July, 38-39

Kaile E (2014) An OT by another name? OT News November, 30-31

Newland J (2014) From OT to case manager. OT News November, 30-31

Vickerstaffe R (2014) Let me in. OT News. July, 40



Article review: “Biopsychosocial Model – The integrated approach to health and disease” by Havelka, Lucanin & Lucanin (2009)

Article review: “Biopsychosocial Model – The integrated approach to health and disease” by Havelka, Lucanin & Lucanin (2009)

In this article, Havelka et al point out that the biomedical model was a valid model while infectious diseases caused by one factor prevailed and were the main healthcare problem for humanity, but now that chronic, lifestyle & non-infectious diseases with multiple influencing factors are the main health issue it is no longer effective or appropriate as the default model for healthcare. They are in favour of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model and say its implementation is taking too long. Their criticisms of the current biomedical model are:

  • the dehumanisation between healthcare staff and patients
  • continual improvement of increasingly advanced medical techniques leading to a rise in expenditure where only rationing of healthcare would allow for the continuation of technology-led healthcare (as opposed to psycho-social led)
  • reductionist i.e. reduces people to the smallest component -their cells- and separates mind and body in order to do this despite evidence to the contrary

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How does sociology and culture affect occupation throughout someone’s life?

How does sociology and culture affect occupation throughout someone’s life?

Sociology is the study of human social life, groups, and societies (Giddens et al 2013:4). The type of society around us greatly influences our thoughts and actions whether we are aware of it or not. How does our behaviour (what we think, feel and say) as social creatures influence or affect the occupations we choose, and how we carry them out? Sociology can help OTs to understand whether something is a social/public issue, or a personal problem.

Sea Otters
Sociology is the study of groups’ behaviour

Some prominent sociological theorists are Durkheim, Marx and Weber. Emile Durkheim studied the effects of capitalism on increased suicide rates in the newly industrialised European countries. He attributed this to:

  1. increased individualism where rewards from good decisions are enjoyed by the individual alone, but so too are the consequences of bad ones. Previously the blame would be shared between other members of a family or group because the decision on whether to become say, a baker, was influenced by family tradition or the need for a baker in the village, rather than someone’s individual choice to strike out and open a patisserie in Hull.
  2. too much aspiration and subsequent disappointment when what is theoretically possible isn’t achieved. What we have isn’t actually all that bad but when compared to Khloe Kardashian, our life is a turdburger.
  3. too much freedom meaning there aren’t the same connections to other people as there used to be when social norms were around to tell us who to marry, what to do on a Sunday  or how much ankle to show. People can often feel more anonymous and less connected now as a result of increased personal freedom.
  4. increased atheism – while religions are based on questionable facts with a propensity for inciting prejudice and war, they do offer an important sense of community and shared experiences to draw people together; something capitalism doesn’t offer a replacement for.
  5.  decrease in national pride and family – national identities and family ties are more diffuse and no longer give people the feeling they are part of something bigger than themselves.

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A rough history of OT

A rough history of OT

Or the origins of Occupational Therapy in a socio-economical context

History of OT
Click to enlarge

OT is obviously awesome so the ideas behind it have pretty much always been present throughout time in one way or another.

Below is a summary of Occupational Therapy’s position throughout the ages.

Primitive age There was an emphasis on community support within tribes, with Shamans providing ‘interventions’. Nature imposed occupations on people in order for them to survive- if you did not find occupation through making fires, hunting food or making shelters you would not survive for long.

Biblical age Jesus is described as valuing all people equally. There was an awareness of the importance of all forms of health. With mental health this could be raising self esteem and equality, such as talking face to face being preferred over letter writing  in John chapter 2. Physical health is mentioned eg the use of therapeutic baths, such as in John chapter 5 where Jesus heals using the Pool of Bethesda, and of course spiritual health was a running theme since Jesus was a fairly spiritual guy and frequently took time out for meditation.

Classical age Philosophers proposed the idea of body and mind being restored or maintained in perfect harmony. A balance between physical activity/occupation and rest was encouraged. The physician Aesculapius founded treatment health centres which had gyms, spa baths, horse riding activities and theatres, providing a holistic approach to treating both physical and mental illness ahead of its time. Spiritual cures such as snake venom were also frequently used (incidentally this is where the medical symbol of a serpent on a staff originates).

However in seeking this perfection, infants with disabilities which could not be cured were killed as there was no hope of restoration, and perfect harmony was impossible. Read more