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Occupational Therapy



Occupationaltherapy is a phrase that many people use but do not clearlyunderstand what it means. Many books, journal, and articles havetried to give the possible meanings of the phrase. As it is anemerging issue in the today’sworld, it is important for people to know and understand whatoccupational therapy is all about. Many people have perceived it tobe a profession that focuses on vocational counseling and jobtraining. The Oxford dictionary describes occupation as thatsomething or activity which greatly consumes an individual time. Forexample, trade, profession, or business, whereas therapy is thetreatment of disease or disorder by the use of some remedial,rehabilitating, or curative process (Beers,2010).&nbsp

Fromthe description from the articles, books, and journals, the termoccupational therapy can be defined absolutely. So what isoccupational therapy? It is the use of treatment and assessing to beable to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living or work skillsof people with the physical, mental, or cognitive disorders(Borenstein,2014).&nbsp

TheAmerican Association Executive Board describesoccupational therapy as the therapeutic use of work, self-care, orplay activities to remain healthy or to prevent disability (Thereference manual of the official documents of the American Association, Inc., 2011).This paper considers the Parkinson disease as a case study andsuggests the best therapy for it.

Objectiveof the Study

Themain objective of this research study was to establish theeffectiveness of occupational therapy.


Forthis study, information has been obtained from articles, books, andpeer reviewed journals.


Thereview study is about a disease knownas Parkinson, which is uncommon disease among many people but verydeadly to humans if not properly treated. If the health-related datafrom the USA is considered, it is found that about sixty thousandpeople sare diagnosed with this disease yearly out of a population ofover 400 million people.

Parkinsonis a disease that affects the brain and causes it to lose control ofmuscles gradually. It makes the brain to lose its ability to controland coordinate the body movements.

Thesymptoms of Parkinsons disease include slowness in the voluntarymovements, specifically in the initiation of such motions as rollingover in bed or walking decreased monotonous speech, eye blinking,and facial expression stooped posture and poor arm swings unsteadyor unstable balance and difficulty in standing up from a sittingposition continuous pill-rolling movement of the forehead and thumbstiffness in the trunk or abnormal tone and extremities andorthostatic hypotension (fainting or lightheadedness when standing)(Fitzek&amp Spencer, 2014).

Fromthese symptoms, it can be concluded that the outcome of a personsuffering from this disease will not be able to coordinate bodymovements at all, hence will be in need of assistance most of thetimes.


Throughoutthe entire investigative process, the data was collected on the mainvariables of the study, which was the effectiveness of occupationalstudy as the results of the study were to be qualitative. Therefore,the methods used were experiment and observations.

Itwas imperative that these methods be used to get the correctfindings. As noted from the case study, thenurses were offering therapy and observing the improvements in the patients. This researchapproach was the best as it gave room for observation and testing,which are always the common data acquisition methods in such researchstudies. The approach gave room for the researchers to be able tocorrect certain mistakes and make the case study more flexible.

Methodsand Subjects

Thecase study that has been considered in this paper was done by MedicalCollege of Chicago in the United States of America. The collegecarried an experiment with a Parkinson patient to determine thesuitable occupational therapy for the disease. Thirty patients withthe disease were picked randomly without bias to conduct theexperiment. The experiment also aimed to show the effectiveness ofoccupational therapy to patients (Case-Smith&amp O`Brien, 2011).&nbsp

Thesample participants were divided into two groups, i.e., experimentaland control groups. Both the groups received different types oftherapy. Each participant from the experimental group met with anoccupational therapist individually for one hour a week for eightweeks.

Participantsfrom both the experimental and the control group were givenfunctional and standardized tests and evaluated on a quality-of-lifescale before and after the start of the therapy sessions. All theparticipants from both the experimental and control groups had neverhad therapy before, so they had no idea of what it was all about. Agaming device known as Nintendo Wii was used as the form of therapybecause it was interactive and had to be able to do certainfunctional movements, such as coordination and balancing. It was alsoused for timing and loosening up (Case-Smith&ampO`Brien, 2011).&nbsp

Theparticipants were also able to perform certain functional activities,which included dressing and rolling over in bed fine motor skills,like circling in word searches, carefully moving blocks in the gameJenga and stretching (Willard &amp Spackman, 2012).&nbsp

Ascan be seen, the occupational therapy offered was interactive as boththe therapist and the patients were actively participating. Thetherapists inthis case studyalways had goals that they wanted to achieve within a specified timebound.Thegoals set ranged from participant’s independencewith daily live activities such as bathing, dressing, or cooking andalso functional activities, such as leisure activities or sportswithout much dependency or adaptation. From thestudy[tautology], early signs indicated that most of the participants wereexperiencing short-term gains, which were positive considering themain objectives of the experiment. For instance, when theparticipant, Mrs. X, started attending the therapy sessions she wasso overwhelmingly dependent on her husband for almost everything inher daily activities such as walking, feeding, dressing, getting outof the bed.

Afterthe therapy, Mrs. X, was now able to do almost everything on her own.It means her meaning her dependency has tremendously gown up. Thisshows that the occupational therapy was working well enough. However,Mrs. X still required some assistance in doing certain things. Thisshowed that occupational is a gradual process.


Basedon the case study above, the results were mostly qualitative. Thefollowing results were observed.


Balancingwas a major problem in most of the patients. A case in point was Mrs.X who had a problem with balancing before the therapy. However, afterthe therapy, her condition improved and she could now walk on herown. Before the therapy, she could not walk at all as she could notbalance herself.


Immobilityis the inability to move. A good number of the patients could notmove before the therapy. The patients who could not move before thetherapy were able to move significantly after the therapy. This is anindication that occupational therapy is effective.


Asit already established that Parkinson disease makes one weak. Most ofthe patients were weak before the therapy but improved considerablyafter they received the therapy. The patients in the control group,who never received body weakness healing-related therapy generallytook longer before recovering.


Overall,the patients experienced fatigue before they received occupationaltherapy. Most of them could not dress, walk, feed, bathe on theirown. However, after the therapy, a majority of them could carry outmost of the activities on their own. This is an indication thatoccupational therapy helped in solving the problem of fatigue.


Beforethe therapy sessions, most of the patients had a problem with bodycoordination. After the therapy, a majority of them could nowcoordinate their body parts effectively as was observed in the waythey were playing Nintendo Wii. They could play very well.

Consistencyof Findings with Other Studies

Theoutcome of this research proved the importance and usefulness ofoccupational therapy to the patients. Through the study, theeffectiveness of therapy can be seen. The findings of the researchare in consistence with other similar previous studies.

Implicationsof the Research

Thefindings of this research study can be applied by the healthcarefacilities to improve their services to the patients. Also, theoutcomes of the study act as a motivation factor to the medicallearning institutions to invest more resources in teachingoccupational therapy.


Withthe findings of the experiment, it can be said that each and everymedical facility requires an occupational therapy center. The resultsof the experiment prove the usefulness and effectiveness ofoccupational of occupational therapy. It helps in the healing andrehabilitation of patients suffering from various diseases. Moreover,the results show that occupational therapy is a natural healingmethod, and, therefore, should be adopted in the medical facilities.Besides, the medical learning institutions should impart the studentswith sufficient knowledge so they can apply it in the real world.


Beers,M. (2010).&nbspThe Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy&nbsp(1stEd.). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck Research Laboratories.

Borenstein,G. (2014).&nbspTherapy&nbsp(1st Ed.). New York:F. Watts.

Case-Smith,J. &amp O`Brien, J. (2011).&nbspOccupational therapy forchildren&nbsp(1st Ed.). Maryland Heights, Mo.:Mosby/Elsevier.

Fitzek,S. &amp Spencer, S. (2014).&nbspTherapy&nbsp(1st Ed.). NewYork: St. Martin`s Press.

Thereference manual of the official documents of the American Association, Inc. (2011) (1stEd.). Bethesda, MD.

Willard,H. &amp Spackman, C. (2012).&nbspOccupational therapy&nbsp(1stEd.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.