Occupational Therapy And Substance Abuse

Occupational therapy has evolved and throughout the twentieth century and has clear cut definition of its application as a therapy process. With occupational therapy, varying approaches may be used to custom fit the rehabilitation approaches of patients as they see fit. This paper shall discuss the roles of an occupational therapist; the aspects of substance abuse disorders; and also the correlation of substance abuse disorder or drug abuse with HIV/AIDS (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008). Occupational therapy is a rehabilitation technique to enable to enhance and assist affected people in attaining a well, healthy, and balanced way of life.

Occupational therapy can also assist the patient to excel and acquire skills which are relative to their particular activities – may it be at home or even at the office (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008). Occupational therapists guide those who need to re-learn and/or acquire skills that would help them in their day-to-day life. In order to fully comprehend what this field is, an occupational therapist must know the two major components of the occupational therapy theory. The principles and the concept are the components of occupational therapy.

Once fully comprehended, the occupational therapist can clarify specific issues with a client; validates and guides the therapy practice; and educates and enhances the growth and professionalism of the said field and its’ members. This theory is a working knowledge in process in which it is linked to the practice of occupational therapy. This leads to the frames of reference of occupational therapy. This enables the occupational therapist to create a program specific to the patients’ needs; act as guide to primary care givers to clients.

An occupational therapist must know the components of a frame of reference in occupational therapy which are 1) a theoretical base statement from which frame has been derived from, 2) an extensive description of the processes; steps, and methods to evaluate the individuals progress on a specific dysfunction to have a fully functional continuum, 3) a continuum which clearly defines the main attributes of the dysfunction and function, and 4) the prescriptive steps needed to be the benchmark of the therapist and tackling the patient and the environment that they are in (Casper College, 2000).

There are four main frames of references – Biomechanical; Cognitive; Occupational Adaptation; and Model of Human Occupation. Biomechanical emphasizes on enhancing and increasing the functions of the right side of the patients’ body, which includes the coordinating skills of the body; stability; and motion. The cognitive frame of reference focuses more on the daily and routine task of the patient. Modifying the environment in which the patient is in. For occupational adaptation, this emphasizes on completing a particular activity within the patients environment while modifying both emotional and physical issues.

Lastly, Model of Human Occupation which would mainly deal on changing the environment of the person in order to enhance the patients’ skills, while incorporating analytical skills to be incorporated into the environment (Casper College, 2000). Kinematics and kinetics are the main frame of reference for biomechanical. To see the continuum for this particular frame of reference would be looking into the musculoskeletal system; cardiopulmonary system; peripheral nerves; and integumentary system. To evaluate this frame of reference would be taking measurements of the strength of the muscle; endurance; and motion.

The theory base for the cognitive frame of reference would be on neurological science; cognitive psychology; bio-psychiatry; and information processes. The major dysfunction of this theory base would result with the restriction of the patients’ ability to process routine tasks. Using the Allen cognitive level assessment and routine tasks inventory would assess the extent of the function and dysfunction. Mostly medications; interventions by occupational therapy can amend and influence the patient to perform once difficult routine tasks.

The theory of general systems; occupational behavior; and sociology are the main theory base for model of human occupation. This defines the difficulties found in the habits; skills; and roles that are needed to be fully function socially. The roles, skills, and habits are the continuum for his theory. In order to asses this form of frame of reference, interviews must be set up; schedules; observation and cases analyses are needed. To rectify this theory base is to provide counseling; environment modification; and problem solving skills in order to allow development and identification in the patients’ lifestyle.

Occupational Adaptations’ theory base would entirely rely on the general system; adaptation and occupation theories. This is more focused on the occupational dysfunction wherein the patient has the inability to me amenable to the subtle changes. One must evaluate the environment and occupational factors of the patient. In order to have the patient back on track, the therapy focuses on the person and environmental interaction via occupation. As aforementioned, occupational therapy has an array of applications and they are Physical; Community; Cognitive; and Mental Health.

Focusing on the physical aspect which occupational therapy can be used are mainly on – Long-Term care on invalids; Orthopedics; Burn victims; and Industrial therapy to name a few. With regards to the community application of occupational therapy, this would include health centers, community centers, and etc. The cognitive role would mainly focus on such disease like Parkinson’s; stroke patients; and patients with acute brain injuries. Last but not the least, is the mental health role of an occupational therapist in prisons; psychiatric programs; and even in mental health services.

Bear in mind, the four areas mentioned does not constrain occupational therapy only until their boundaries but may evolve as to custom-fit the therapy to those individuals. Around the 1970’s, uniform technology was developed and had pointed the different aspects of reporting and segregated into three parts: Performance areas, Performance components, and Performance contexts. Daily activities, productive work activities, leisure and play activities are under the performance area.

Performance concepts are the basic skills and abilities for the patient to accomplish an activity, and there are three categories and they are: sensory-motor component (including awareness and the process of stimuli, neuromuscular, and motor components); psychological components; cognitive integration; psychosocial skill components; and cognitive components. Occupational therapists – assess their course of action along side with the person seeking assistance, enabling them to focusing on the abilities and other problems that they may face during the course of their therapy.

They need to plan the term of the treatment – it may be long term or short term which should fit life-style, preferences; of the occupational therapists’ charge. Intervention is a key in which the occupational therapists’ needs to use in order for their charge to acquire new physical, social, and mental skills. This also includes teaching the charge to adapt with new found skills that they acquire throughout the duration of the therapy. For success to follow, cooperation is needed on both parties.

Other parties are also included with this sphere of influence such as family members amongst others in order to have a fully holistic approach for the care of the patient. The occupational therapist should seek to understand their patients to fully harness the patients’ abilities. They need to take into account performance context which has two main aspects – temporal and environmental. Level of disability, patients’ age, and developmental stage are taken note of for temporal aspect. Environmental aspect includes the social, cultural, and physical environment that the patient is in.

In the next few pages, this paper shall discuss what substance abuse disorder is, its’ major aspects, and the use of occupational therapy in order to rehabilitate patients afflicted with this disorder. Research studies have pointed out that that substance abuse greatly contributes in the spread of HIV/AIDS. The correlation between HIV/AIDS and substance abuse disorder will be discussed, as well as the effective usage of occupational therapy to give a better quality of life to patients and individuals.

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