Methods in Occupational Therapy

Therapeutic Activities These are purposeful activities including arts, crafts, recreation, sports, leisure, self–care, home management and work activities which help to
  • Develop or maintain strength, endurance and range of motion.
  • Provide the use of voluntary, automatic movements in goal–directed tasks.
  • Exercise affected parts of the body.
  • Identify vocation potential and work training.
  • Improve sensation, perception and cognition.
  • Develop social skills.
Activities of daily living
  • These are tasks of self–maintenance, mobility, communication and home management.
  • Self–care includes dressing, feeding, toileting, bathing and grooming activities.
  • Mobility includes movement in bed, wheelchairs, public and private transportation.
  • Assisting devices are frequently used.
  • Communication includes the ability to write, read, use telephones, and computers.

Orthosis/splinting An orthosis is a device added to a person’s body to support a position, immobilize a part, correct deformities, assist weak muscles and restore function. Temporary splints are made of thermoplastic materials. Splints for long–term use to treat permanent conditions are made of metal or steel.

There are two types of splints Static splints have no moving parts, prevent motion and provide rest or rigid support to the affected part. Dynamic splints have moving parts to permit, control or restore movements. Movements are managed intrinsically by another body part or extrinsically by elastic, springs and motors.

Prosthesis Limb loss may result from accident, injury or congenital causes. Congenital amputees and those who lose a limb early in life develop sensorimotor skills without the amputated part. Those who lose limbs later in life have greater difficulty adjusting to the loss of a part that was well integrated into the body scheme. Occupational therapy is useful in developing functional use, tolerance and training of prosthetic devices. Psychological adjustment is also addressed.