Technology and Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is the treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions by encouraging patients to undertake specific selected activities that will help them to reach their maximum level of function and independence in all aspects of daily life.

As science and technology change, so does our occupational therapy practice methods. Technology influences our current practice and occasionally they create new tools for intervention. These activities are designed to make the best use of the patient’s capabilities and are based on individual requirements.I researched and found two articles regarding individuals who are being rehabilitated by the use of gaming systems and virtual simulation and by the aid of a robot. Both the articles I chose rehabilitate patients whether children or adult.

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Both techniques of rehabilitation significantly enjoy patients and allow them to feel encouragement as their motor skills improve. Both techniques use technology as a method of rehabilitating patients. Both articles suggest that their unique features include having video games which allows patients to have more or less 4-6 weeks of therapy.However, In the article “Wii-HAB: Using the Wii Video game System as an Occupational Therapy Intervention with Patients in the Hospital Setting”, it says that in the past few years, the Wii has been used with diverse populations, including children and adults with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and gross and fine motor deficits. While on the article “Increasing Productivity and Quality of Care: Robot-aided Neuro-rehabilitation” it uses the MIT-MANUS, a back-drivable robot.It allows us to control the amount of therapy delivered to a patient. We can also monitor the brain movement of the patients. The neuro-rehabilitation usually is like a classroom setting.

And unlike the Wii console, the back-drivable robot focuses on treating patients with dementia and some neurological disorders like stroke. Another difference is that the Wii game console detects the patient’s motion and the patient’s must do this independently.The robot on the other hand allows patient’s who for example, have arm impairments. But, the goals of both technologies is to increase the patient’s strength, endurance, range of motion, and, it helps build social relationships and support networks among members that can last beyond their hospital and therapy stay. The Wii game allows not only Occupational therapists but also Physical therapists to capitalize on their patient’s functional abilities in a fun and novel manner.

On the other hand, the robot-aided therapy needs the help of other health care providers, like RTs and PTs. In the future, OTs and other health care providers will continue to use these certain technologies as a method of psychosocial and physical rehabilitation with patients. These technologies can prevent some effects of other therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, long hospital stays which can cause a psychological effect to patients like loneliness and isolation, feeling of rejection and “out-of-place”.

OTs work with them throughout their stay to help them maintain their independence and prepare them for discharge from the hospital. In particular, OTs face the challenging task of addressing the patient’s psychosocial status and helping them to remain motivated and positive throughout their healing process. Anything is surely possible with occupational therapy. Not only does it help rehabilitate the patient physically, but it also helps them emotionally, making them ready to be outside the hospital and the outside world.



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