Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

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CJOT Abstracts
Volume 70, Number 3
June 2003


National Perspective
Occupational therapy: A hidden treasure
by Randy Dickinson

Key words Marketing of occupational therapy • Change management • Consumer attitudes

A secondary guy: Physically disabled teenagers in secondary schools
by Lorna Doubt & Mary Ann McColl

Background. This study explored the perceptions and experiences of teenagers
with physical disabilities attending regular secondary schools. In particular, the study focused on social integration and the factors that influenced it. Social integration was defined as a sense of belonging in the school community. Methods. A phenomenological approach was used to explore the viewpoint of physically disabled young people themselves. Seven secondary school students with ambulation disabilities were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Results. The findings identified both factors that facilitated and those that limited integration. Extrinsic factors included peer and staff support, negative reactions and inaccessible activities. Intrinsic factors included the disability itself, as well as strategies of self-exclusion, masking the disability, finding a niche, making fun of the disability, and educating peers. Interpretation of the findings suggested that the participants occupied a secondary place in their schools, as opposed to being fully integrated.  Practice Implications. Occupational therapists have the opportunity, expertise and responsibility to be instrumental in the process of ensuring that schools are inclusive and that their young clients are capable of participating fully.

Key words Schools, occupational therapy • Adolescence • Phenomenological research

Changing times: Trials and tribulations of the move to Master’s entry-level education in Canada
by Alison Lall, Jennifer Klein, & G. Ted Brown

Background. Most health care professions are reviewing issues related to the
changing nature of professional education and practice. Social work, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology, and recently occupational therapy, have raised the entry-level training requirements to the graduate level to enhance formal education programs. Purpose and Scope. In the past few years, this trend has generated considerable debate and discussion within the occupational therapy profession both in Canada and internationally. In November, 2001 the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) announced that Canadian universities must convert to entry-level Master’s programs by 2008 to receive re-accreditation (CAOT, 2002a). This paper describes the historical evolution of Canadian occupational therapy education, outlines several issues within occupational therapy that are impacting the move, and discusses benefits and challenges to Master’s level training. Practice Implications. Recommendations are presented for the development of Master’s entry-level occupational therapy training programs in Canada.

Key words Education, graduate, occupational therapy • Trends, occupational therapy • Professional development

An occupational therapy work skills assessment for individuals with head injury
by Irene Chappell, Julie Higham, & Alison M. McLean

Background. Comprehensive and accurate evaluation is a critical step in the return-to-work process for individuals with head injury. Research findings have been reported on the barriers for a successful return to work. Assessment frameworks have been published, but they do not include a protocol that contains each component for the assessment. Method.This paper describes an occupational therapy assessment protocol developed and used in the evaluation of the work skills of individuals with head injury. This protocol focuses on assessment of physical, cognitive and behavioural abilities in relation to the demands of the workplace and measures these within the framework of productivity, interpersonal skills and safety. Practice Implications. The functional approach inherent in this protocol provides information to complement the findings of other interdisciplinary team members. This paper also explores the strengths and limitations of this protocol.

Key words Work evaluation • Head injury occupational therapy • Rehabilitation, vocational

Pressure relief splinting for an infant: A systemic approach
by Adelle Denys

Background. This case report describes a unique splinting design used on a 6 month-old infant with a grade II heel pressure sore. Traditional methods of attaining pressure relief such as gel pads and repositioning may benefit an inactive, relatively healthy child.  However, a 6 month-old infant who is actively at the developmental age of reciprocal kicking is less likely to respond to these interventions.  Furthermore, children with multiple systemic diagnosis may demonstrate a rapid deterioration of their pressure sore when the most effective intervention is not initially chosen. Method. This paper reviews the multiple systems which impact wound healing to assist the occupational therapist in choosing efficient methods of pressure relief. The splint design described was chosen due to the age and the complex medical history of the infant. Practice Implications. The effectiveness of total pressure relief initiated early in the infant’s treatment resulted in complete visual healing within one month. It was worn for six weeks to avoid recurrence on an already susceptible area of skin.

Key words Splinting • Paediatric occupational therapy • Pressure ulcer care

An occupational therapy perspective on falls prevention among community-dwelling older adults
by Jill E. Woodland & Sandra J. G. Hobson

Background. Prevention of falls among community-dwelling older adults is an
important area of research because of the serious consequences that can result from falls for this population. The risk factors associated with falls tend to be categorized into two groups: intrinsic, or personal factors, such as fear of falling, age, gender, and extrinsic, or environmental factors, such as lighting or slippery surfaces. Method. The current falls prevention literature was reviewed using an occupational therapy perspective. Result. It revealed that there are only a few brief examples of the relationship between occupation and falls in the literature. The profession of occupational therapy appears to be underrepresented in the current falls prevention literature. The review highlights the important contributions that occupational therapists could make to this functional problem. Practice and Research Implications. For occupational therapy, important areas for consideration when attempting to prevent falls among older adults living in the community include using a client-centred approach, compliance, and follow up on recommendations. There is a need for more occupational therapy research specifically on occupation and falls, that explores their relationship and influence upon one another. 

Key words Fall prevention • Geriatric occupational therapy • Model, occupational therapy

CAOT Position Statements 

Occupational therapy and active living for older adults

Universal design and occupational therapy

Look beyond 
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