Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapy -- manpower; Occupational Therapy -- methods; Primary Health Care -- manpower; Rheumatic Diseases -- rehabilitation
Chronic disease management is an ever-growing need within the current population. One of those chronic diseases, arthritis, is the present leader in cause for disability among adults (Helmick et al., 2008). This incidence is expected to increase by 40% over the next 25 years. Among this population are those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is anticipated to affect over 1.2 million Americans each year alone (Helmick et al., 2008). Incurable, RA is a debilitating condition that results in the loss of function within various occupations of daily life. The needs of this population are great, yet are often left unmet. Occupational therapists are well equipped to meet the clinical needs and support this population. Clients diagnosed with RA are seeking help largely through the use of primary care physician visits (NCHS Data Brief, 2010). The need for successful chronic disease self-management has led to the expansion of primary care services to include that of occupational therapists. As Bodenheimer and Smith (2013) explained, occupational therapists are “highly skilled professionals underused in their capacity to fill the roles generally performed by clinicians” (p. 1882). Various skills of occupational therapists such as comprehensive evaluations and the implementation of client centered holistic care equip this profession to step in, educate, and treat clients with a diagnosis of RA in a primary care setting.
This occupational therapy clinical guide has been developed as a method to bridge this gap in attempting to further communication with primary care physicians to show the value of occupational therapy and to create a partnership in treatment of clients with to bridge this gap in attempting to further communication with primary care physicians to show the value of occupational therapy and to create a partnership in treatment of clients with chronic diseases such as RA. Additionally, this guide will direct occupational therapists working with clients with RA towards evidence-based, effective evaluation and interventions. Based on the model of Occupational Adaptation (Schkade & Schultz, 2003), this protocol will provide clinical materials for client-centered care and facilitate successful self-management strategies by all clients experiencing symptoms of RA.
Nims, Alexis and Schumacher, Kayli, "Facilitating the Role of an Occupational Therapist as a Primary Care Provider for Clients with Rheumatoid Arthritis" (2015). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 149.