Title

A physical wellness program for the transition into a wheelchair

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Department

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Gail Bass

Keywords

Diasabled Persons -- psychology; Disabled Persons -- rehabilitation; Holistic Health; Wheelchairs

Abstract

Based on the information from the literature reviewed in Chapter II, individuals may experience secondary medical complications and disruption to engagement in meaningful occupations once confined to a wheelchair for mobility. According to Matuska, Giles-Heinz, Flinn, Neighbor, & Bass-Haugen (2003) education through wellness programming has lasting benefits on participation in meaningful occupations and prevention of occupational limitations. The product of this scholarly project, A Physical Wellness Program for the Transition into a Wheelchair, was designed with a holistic approach to promote health and wellness in clients' transitioning to wheelchairs; the wellness program was designed to facilitate a healthy lifestyle and prevent medical complications. Being confined to a wheelchair has the potential to cause physical overuse of upper extremities, weight gain, poor posture and development of pressure sores, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and increased fatigue; these issues can be addressed through a strengthening and aerobic fitness intervention program (Tawashy, Eng, Krassioukov, Miller, & Sproule, 2010; van der Woude, et al., 2009). Physical limitations can also lead to complications in participation in social and community activities, lack of leisure participation, decreased life satisfaction, and mental health concerns (Tasiemski, Kennedy, & Gardner, 2006; Tolerico et aI., 2007).

The product was developed through the method of literature review. Resources included textbooks and online journal resources, regarding wellness and wheelchairs.

This physical wellness program was created to address secondary complications and diminished occupational participation, which can be experienced by individuals who are transitioning to a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility. The desired outcome of participation in this program as part of occupational therapy intervention is improved quality of life and health. The product was designed for use by occupational therapists and the manual pages were designed to be duplicated by therapists for use as handouts for clients and caregivers to facilitate program compliance or home programs. Therapists should use this product as a guide and pages should be adjusted according to each client's needs.

Wellness can be defined as "the dynamic process of change and growth encompassing physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, interpersonal,· social, and environmental well-being" (The Office of Well ness Education at SUNY Oneonta, 2003). Although the product has a wellness in the title, the manual has a physical wellness focus instead of addressing each of these aspects individually.

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