Basic principles of occupational therapy

Prydniprovsk State Academy of Physical Culture and Sports together with two leading Ukrainian universities (Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University of Drohobych and Khmelnytsky National University) participates in the international project "UKROTHE - development of an occupational therapy curriculum in Ukraine", implemented by the EU Funding Program: Erasmus +.
Within the framework of the project at the Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy PSAPCS it is planned to train specialists in occupational therapy in accordance with European requirements. We consider it important to get acquainted with the main provisions of the new speciality for Ukraine.
In modern society, the problem of full recovery of impaired functions or achieving a high level of social adaptation of people with disabilities, due to serious illnesses and traumatic injuries, with congenital and acquired pathological conditions, the elderly and children with physical and mental retardation is one of the most important.
Physical limitations complicate the life not only of the patient but also of his family.
The strategic task of rehabilitation should be the social adaptation of the rehabilitee, assistance in gaining the maximum possible independence in everyday life, and thus ensuring an acceptable quality of life and integration into society.
An important role in solving this problem belongs to occupational therapy, which is gaining popularity in Ukraine.
Occupational therapy is a complex set of rehabilitation measures aimed at restoring a person's daily activities, taking into account the existing physical limitations.
Occupational therapy uses knowledge of several specialties: biomechanics, physical therapy, medicine, psychology, pedagogy, social pedagogy and more.
Nowadays, it is time to bring the occupational therapy system in Ukraine closer to European standards; in particular, the distinction between occupational therapy and physical therapy, as combining them can lead to confusion and misunderstanding of the unique role of occupational therapists in an interdisciplinary team.
Occupational therapists are professionals who find new and simple ways to overcome physical, mental and emotional trauma to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for people so that they can overcome problems and have a normal life. Occupational therapists not only provide them with proper care and support to deal with their problem, but also help them perform daily tasks such as washing, dressing, cleaning, cooking and eating.
Occupational therapists allow people to study, achieve and maintain balance in their daily activities and occupations, i.e. in caring for themselves, at work, in social, entertainment, creativity and other areas of activity, according to their own choices and needs.
Occupational therapy is based on the concept that patients or people with disabilities, actively performing exercises that are related to domestic or professional activities, acquire, restore or improve compensatory skills that allow them to consciously live a full life. At the same time, the relationship with the environment plays a crucial role.
The purpose of occupational therapy - the maximum possible to restore a person's ability to live independently (self-care, productive activities, recreation), regardless of what she has dysfunctions, restrictions on life or restrictions on participation in society.
The purpose of occupational therapy is not just to restore lost motor functions, but also to readapt a person to normal life, to help him achieve maximum independence and independence in everyday life.
Occupational therapy goal is formed according to the SMART rule:
• S (Specific) - individual, specific;
• M (Measurable) - can be measured;
• A (Achievable) - possible to achieve;
• R (Relevant) - relevant, realistic;
• T (Timed) - can be measured and delineated over time.
The intervention strategy is based on an individual approach to each person.
There are various situations (stroke, trauma, malformations, etc.) in which a person, to a greater or lesser extent, loses the opportunity to live a full life, take care of themselves, perform normal actions for everyone: work and earn money, go shopping, do housework, relax and do his favorite hobbies. From an active member of society, he becomes a passive object for care.
Therefore, the task of the occupational therapist is to prevent the restriction of human life, limiting its participation in society and make it as active as possible in performing the tasks.
The occupational therapist teaches the patient and his relatives how to stimulate a particular activity, and how to include training and coaching in everyday life. For example, when teaching patients to dress, occupational therapists focus on the following points:
• relief to dress yourself: we can choose clothes that will be easier to wear (replace the zipper with "Velcro" or use clothes made of elastic fabric);
• selection of the optimal posture to make it easier for a person to dress;
• how to break clothing process into stages.
When performing an intervention, the occupational therapist should always strive to:
• prevent the risk of developing activity limitations or progression of the patient's existing limitations;
• improve the level of human activity or achieve the level of activity that is necessary for independence in everyday life;
• select and use aids, special equipment, and adapt the environment (at home, at school, at work) to improve the quality of life of the patient.
Assessment of the client's capabilities and needs, as well as the occupational therapy program is usually carried out in a natural environment: apartment, kindergarten, school, at work, as the performance of any task depends on the patient's motivation and the environment in which it is performed. For example, a child may dress himself at home, but does not do so in an unfamiliar place.
Evaluation of changes that occur as a result of the intervention program is carried out jointly with the client on the basis of the methods used for evaluation and tasks.
Therefore, in order for occupational therapy to be able to develop in Ukraine, it needs specialists who meet European standards. Therefore, the international project "UKROTHE - development of an occupational therapy curriculum in Ukraine", which is implemented by the EU Funding Program: Erasmus +: KA2 CBHE is necessary for the proper organization of occupational therapy in our country.