Without treatment certain conditions may cause

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Introductory Psychology
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Chapter 13 / Exercise 9
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Without treatment, certain conditions may cause temporary or per-manent disability. For instance, individuals with tendon injuries canpotentially lose some or all of the function in the injured part of thebody. Occupational therapy prevents disabilities by providing treat-ment to avoid the loss of function.Adapting Tasks and EnvironmentsOccupational therapy may also include adapting a task or an environ-ment to gain the highest degree of independence and the greatestquality of life for the patient. For example, an occupational therapyprofessional might suggest the use of a dressing stick for someonewho is unable to dress independently due to limitations in movement(Figure 3). An occupational therapist might also recommend the useof a transfer board for someone who has difficulty moving from achair to a bed.4Introduction to Occupational TherapyFIGURE 3—Occupationaltherapy often includesadapting, or changing, atask to help the patientachieve maximum inde-pendent function.
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Introductory Psychology
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Chapter 13 / Exercise 9
Introductory Psychology
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Purposeful ActivityPurposeful activityhas always been a central focus of occupationaltherapy. Purposeful activities are the behaviors or tasks that make upoccupations. These behaviors or tasks are directed towards a specificgoal. To be considered a purposeful activity, the individual must beparticipating actively and voluntarily toward a goal that the individ-ual considers meaningful. For a mentally ill patient who previouslyenjoyed woodworking as a hobby, for example, occupational therapytreatment may include the purposeful activity of constructing a desk-top bookshelf.Occupational therapy practitioners use purposeful activity to evalu-ate, simplify, restore, or maintain a patient’s ability to function in hisor her daily occupations. Using purposeful activity in therapy pro-duces many benefits, including the following:·Purposeful activity focuses attention on a meaningful goalrather than on the process required for achievement (Figure 4).·Purposeful activity assists and builds on the individual’s abili-ties and leads to the achievement of personal functional goals.·Purposeful activity encourages coordination of the individual’svarious body systems.·Purposeful activity provides feedback on performance to boththe occupational therapy practitioner and the individual.Now let’s take a moment to review. Occupational therapy focuses onpatients’ day-to-day involvement in occupations (activities) that or-ganize their lives and meet their needs. These needs would includetaking care of themselves (self-care), being productive (work), andIntroduction to Occupational Therapy5FIGURE 4—Usingpurposeful activity intherapy focuses atten-tion on a meaningfulgoal rather than on theprocess required forachievement.
receiving enjoyment and satisfaction in their environments (leisure).

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