Why are there not more occupational therapists in pain rehabilitation?

A question I’ve asked myself many times! As a small profession with a long history (as long as physiotherapy, TBH), it does seem odd that there are many, many pain rehabilitation services where never an occupational therapist has darkened the door. Some of the reasons lie within the profession: in general, occupational therapists are busy being clinicians and have little time for research. In New Zealand, few occupational therapists pursue higher degrees, and many avoid statistical analyses, experimental design, randomised controlled studies. In fact, some occupational therapists have argued that the tailored approach used by therapists means randomised controlled trials are impossible – our interventions too complex, too individualised. And it is difficult to describe occupational therapy in the kind of broad terms used to describe physiotherapy (movement), psychology (mind, emotions, behaviour), medicine or nursing. Occupational therapists often deal with the everyday. Things like organising a day or a week, getting a good night’s sleep, returning to work, managing household activities. Not sexy things with technical names! So… what does a good occupational therapist offer in pain rehabilitation? These are only some of the things I’ve contributed over the years: graded exposure in daily life contexts like the shopping mall, supermarket, walking at the beach, fishing, catching a bus, drivingself regulation using biofeedback, hypnos...
Source: HealthSkills Weblog - Category: Anesthesiology Authors: Tags: ACT - Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Clinical reasoning Cognitive behavioral therapy Coping strategies Occupational therapy Pain conditions Resilience/Health interprofessional teams pain rehabilitation persistent pain Source Type: blogs

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