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Occupational Therapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2019

What is occupational therapy

Our body is prone to illness and diseases. Not to mention the times and circumstances where we live in, we are prone to more number of ailments than at any point in time in human history. As a result, the human species is finding it increasingly difficult to live and feel satisfied at the same moment. This is what occupational therapists aim to achieve. Occupational Therapy is the treatment where the therapists help people to live as independently as possible. They work in tandem with various sections of individuals and try to identify the solution for the things that ail them. They also cooperate closely with differently abled persons and people who have chronic medical conditions and injuries. They also address your psychological aspect and assist you in becoming independent. They also groom you to blend within the society and find your acceptance. Naturally, the treatment works best when the individual is more open to the treatment and gives the appropriate time needed. Even simple activities like eating and dressing can be addressed as a part of Occupational Therapy. In rare cases, even medications and drugs can be prescribed based on your depression levels. The therapists also work in close contact with other teams of doctors to supplement the best medical care for you.

What are the various types of occupational therapy procedures?

Occupational therapy is available for all the age group, therefore, it has a wide range:

Pediatric Occupational therapy:

This occupational therapy is done on children due to the following reasons:

  • Children suffering from ADHD
  • Disabled Children
  • Children who have low vision or poor hearing
  • Children who are prone to abuse or negligence
  • Children with trouble in schools
  • Children who are disabled in reading and writing
  • Children who are depressed, or have any mental disorder

Occupational therapy autism

In this occupational therapy, therapists work with the people who are affected by autism. The sessions of OT most of the times taken in school or at the place which is preferred by the client. The therapist of the occupational theory is specialized to help their clients in overcoming social problems related to life.

Geriatric Occupational therapy:

In this kind of therapy, people are treated so that they can do their daily skills in a proper manner. Most of the time when people start ageing they lose interest in things and start taking life for granted like chewing, swallowing, bathing, going to the toilet and many other activities. Geriatric OT even helps people with Alzheimer, arthritis or people with any other disorder to which are being faced due to old age.

Occupational therapy for Mental health:

People related to problems like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or any other mental problem are given classes in a hospital setting. In their case, it is given to learn better care to the self and prevent further problems.

How occupational therapy performed?

Occupational Therapy can include various levels of treatment and is not tailor-made to suit everyone. It is had as a series of sessions, and the therapist first gets to know the patient first so that the right treatment approach can be adhered to. Once the treatment pattern has been established the therapist would recommend opening up with the individual to address his/her needs. These can include personal care activities like eating, dressing, and walking, home skills such as cooking, gardening and personal management skills such as sticking to timelines and efficiently doing a work.

Physical exercise is recommended wherever possible and as per the needs of the person. Some of the treatment can be focused on making you adjust to the assisted devices (if you use any) such as a walking stick or a wheelchair. Also in most treatment plans your family member would also be included as they would have a part in the caregiving schedule. Most of the Occupational Therapy deals with the mental or the physical impairments a person has since birth. The second common cause would include people recovering from long-term injury. In some cases, these can include individuals who are recovering from heart attacks, stroke or an amputation.

Who would need occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy as stated earlier focuses on helping people as individually as possible. So an individual who has undergone a medical condition or is in the treatment for a situation can be candidates for such procedures. The treatment is usually imparted to persons with mental and physical impairment so that they can adjust to their surroundings and lead a better life.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

The treatments mostly are of a psychological nature and can be safely undergone by any individual. There is no restriction or an eligibility criterion for such therapies, as these focuses on the betterment of a person as a whole. In rare cases when medications are involved, it would be safe to consult your physician about your body condition.

What are the side effects of occupational therapy?

No, there are no side effects for such treatments as they focus on the physical and mental inabilities of a person and the treatment is imparted as a series of self-care, recreational and work activities. They are also imparted as a series of sessions and can be had for life without any repercussions.

What are the benefits of occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy can be given to any person who is not able to do things or participate in the activity of their choice. Occupational therapists help people look after their physical, psychosocial development and disorders as they are trained in all such things. They look at a person as a whole and tell about what kind of changes are to be done. After meeting an occupational therapist a person evolves psychosocial and develop skills for doing a job which is important for their living. They are able to participate in life which they have chosen for themselves.

What are the situations occupational therapy can treat?

  • Coping up with pain which happens due to accidents, burns, arthritis
  • Returning to work after a long time of injury or illness
  • Mobility problems like moving from one place to the other due arthritis, spinal injury, or it
  • Can be due to a simple ageing problem
  • Tiredness due to depression, stress, stroke, heart health, etc.

What care is necessary after an occupational therapy session?

Mostly you might be asked to make some lifestyle changes, and you might have to change your home environment to suit your physical needs. The purpose of the treatment is to make you comfortable with yourself and to blend in the society. Hence accordingly you might have to go for group therapies or social sessions to achieve this.

How long does it take to recover?

Once again, there is no recovery period as the treatment is an ongoing process and tries to make you adjust to your surroundings and your life. Even after you are completely in sync, you can follow the procedures like undergoing certain activities or recreation to stay yourself fit and happy.

How much does an occupational therapist charge per session in India?

In India, the treatment cost depends on the type of session an individual has and also depends on the number of sessions. Each session can be around the average of INR 350.00 and can go up based on the type of treatment imparted. Occupational therapy is not just a uniform treatment, and it has to be customized as per the person’s individual needs

How long does it take to recover?

The results vary vastly from every person and depend on how well the person adjusts to his surroundings. The results can be permanent in some cases, while in certain cases the treatment has to be undergone for life. You can consult with your therapist and physician on how you fare and how long you have to undergo the treatment. The fundamental purpose of the treatment is to ease back yourself into society, and it depends on how far you are willing to be open to the treatment.

The options can depend on the basis of your physical condition. For some people meditating and doing yoga can be beneficial, while for others to get back the fitness, they have to work on certain exercises and activities. You can also pursue your hobby and your favourite sports after consulting with your physician.

Key Highlights

Safety: Very High

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Very Low

Side Effects: Very Low

Recovery Time: Very Low

Price Range: RS. 350 and above per session


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Content Details
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Written ByDr. E. Logesh MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy),BPTh/BPTPhysiotherapy
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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