An Occupational Therapy Guidebook for Individuals with Substance Use Disorder
Cassidy B. Ardoin-Barnett and Steven M. Gerardi
Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) experience barriers and challenges that impact their daily occupational performance, engagement, well-being, and quality of life. In addition to disrupting and distorting an individual’s unique occupational outcomes, SUDs can limit, replace, and dictate an individual’s daily meaningful activities, habits, routines, and skills that support healthy occupational engagement. Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners have a unique and valuable role in SUDs treatment as they are equipped to identify these barriers and implement strategies for supportive skill development or restoration. Based on the literature review conducted, OT practitioners do not have an OT practice guideline, protocol, or manualized intervention available to guide OT practice when working with clients with SUDs. The purpose of this capstone project is to address this concern and develop an OT guidebook for OT practitioners working with individuals with SUDs using the theoretical framework of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). The methodology of this project consists of three phases: (a) the pre-development phase, (b) the development phase, and (c) the review and revision phase. The guidebook consists of five chapters that supply OT practitioners with recommended best-practice methods to implement the OT process while working with individuals in this client population as well as recommendations for other resources available to the community. The development of this capstone project will expand OT scholarship and practice as well as create a foundation to examine the efficacy of OT in mental health and SUD treatment.
Transportation as a Barrier to Healthcare Access for Older Adults of Low Socioeconomic Status
Yanira Barajas, Susan MacDermott, and Jazminne Orozco Arteaga
The older adult population of those in the age group 65+ is one of the fastest growing populations in the following years. This project sought to identify what barriers older adults of low socioeconomic status face when trying to access transportation to healthcare appointments. The project also sought to understand what barriers healthcare professionals saw when their senior clients tried using transportation as well as what opportunities occupational therapists have to address the barriers if any. There was a theme of disconnect which appeared between healthcare professionals and their senior clients across multiple healthcare disciplines. This project was able to identify the barriers seniors face as well as the role that occupational therapists can assume when working with this population. Occupational therapists are able to assume consultative roles as well as address transportation with clients being discharged from inpatient care.
Supporting Rural Seniors Aging in Place Using Telehealth
Angel Alexander Gomez and Susan MacDermott
Background: The United States is witnessing a demographic shift in that the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060; the percentage of the 65 and older age group will increase from 16 % to 23 % (Administration for Community Living, 2018). In this ever-growing population, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) 2018 survey found that 76% of Americans over the age of 50 would prefer to remain in their current residence and 77% would like to continue living in their community as long as possible; however, 59% foresee that they will be able to stay in their community, either in their current home (46%) or a different home within their community (13%) (Binette & Vasold, 2019).
Problem Statement: As of 2022, there is limited aging in place (AIP) programming that addressed the varying needs of rural seniors and their QOL.
Purpose: To evaluate the needs of rural older adults residing in Crowley County, Colorado to create an AIP program that is tailored to their specific needs and context, and to create a manual that provides a structure for a therapist that wishes to create their own AIP program in their desired location. The created program includes 5 modules (technology supporting AIP, occupations as a means, community mobility: transportation and occupation in rural communities, lifestyle impact on health, home modifications to enhance accessibility to occupations) that were included per the results of surveys, interviews, and a literature review.
Conclusion: Occupational therapists have the knowledge and skillset required to create both efficacious and cost-effective telehealth programs in rural communities. This program can be readily modified to fit the unique demographics of a chosen population. There is much work to be done to ensure equity regarding aging, one viable option to accomplish this aim is to use telehealth programming.
Occupational Therapy's Role in Athletic Retirement
Diana Mellin, Karen Park, and Madison Harris
Athletic retirement is described as a life transition involving withdrawal from the athletic role. Throughout the process of athletic retirement, individuals experience a loss of identity, roles, routines, and social support which has shown to negatively impact their overall mental health and well-being (Marterella & Smoot, 2017). This study investigated elite athletes’ experiences throughout their transition to athletic retirement, a ten-question online survey and semi-structured interviews were administered. Themes that emerged from the data are occupational adjustment and relearning roles, experiencing a crossroads of identity, external expectations, and pressures. Participants shared experiencing a period of burnout and detachment right after transitioning out of their sport while still maintaining a strong athletic identity. Participants also described feelings of unpreparedness due to a lack of appropriate resources for this transition. These findings identify the potential roles for occupational therapy services for this population which include engaging in health-promoting occupations, establishing new identities, redefining roles and routines, and prevention strategies.
Assessing the Needs and Barriers of Esports Players in Participating in Esports and Daily Life
Kristen Musacco, Susan MacDermott, and Stephanie Stoltenberg
The purpose of this study is to determine the occupational needs and barriers faced by esports players as they participate in daily life and advocate for occupational therapy's potential role. A qualitative survey of 9 participants and 6 interviews were given. Thematic analysis identified themes of stigma surrounding seeking medical intervention in esports, as well as negative perceptions of how esports are viewed. Experience with an ergonomics specialist contributed to the understanding of basic ergonomics principles, proper measurement, and assessment of stations. This needs assessment provided a basis for understanding participant experiences in relation to the role occupational therapists in esports.
Perceptions of Using Diabetic Alert Dogs to Promote Occupations and Quality of Life
Haley Speake, Rocio Alvarenga, and Adam Gibson
This capstone project consisted of a pilot phenomenological qualitative research study with the goal of assessing diabetic alert dogs' impact on their owners' occupations and quality of life from the owner's perspective. Individuals with type 1 diabetes that personally own a diabetic alert dog were interviewed virtually using a semi-structured approach. The goal of the interview questions was to gather information regarding health management, daily occupations, and quality of life. Gaps in the research were identified, and it was found that few research studies focused on the impact or benefits of a diabetic alert dog from the owner’s perspective. Therefore, this research study was pursued to fill the gap in the literature regarding the impact diabetic alert dogs have on their owners’ occupations and quality of life from the owner’s perspective and explore diabetic alert dogs as an intervention option that occupational therapist can educate their patients with diabetes about to help them manage their condition, be independent, and improve their quality of life.
The Role of Occupational Therapy in Unplanned Motherhood
Cierra Stewart and Karen Park
For women experiencing unplanned pregnancy, the thought of becoming a mother can increase stress and affect the mother’s mental health. Maternal adjustment can include depression, anxiety, worry, stress, and happiness (Mihelic et al., 2016). The impact that this new role has effects daily demands, leading to a disruption in occupational engagement, environmental changes, and overall less time for the mother (Horne et al., 2005). There is currently not a well-defined role for occupational therapy within pregnancy medical clinics to support women experiencing unplanned pregnancy and their transition to motherhood. The purpose of this project is to provide care to new moms and support, educate, provide resources, train, and care for the mother both prenatal and postnatal. The themes that emerged from the conducted needs assessments were that women identified lack of time management skills, occupational disruption, lack of sleep and self-care skills, balancing multiple roles, lack of occupational balance, and lack of time for self. Additional factors to consider was the discovery through conversation and building rapport with the participants, that all participants were Hispanic, and shared that mental health is a low priority in Hispanic culture. Based on these needs, a 6-week occupational therapy group program was created with an emphasis on mental health. The program was adapted from Karen Moore’s Sensory Connection Program: Curriculum for Self-Regulation (2015), and included classes titled: Goal Setting, Crisis Intervention, Healthy Sleep, Stress Management, Healthy Ways to Feel Good, and Balancing Work, Rest, and Play. All program material and curriculum was created in English and Spanish to ensure that all participants could participate and were included. The program was successful, and all 13 participants reported that their mental health had increased with use of the tools, strategies, exercises, and education provided. One participant stated, “I really appreciate her giving us tools to push ourselves and be motivated to achieve our goals…and learning to take care of our MENTAL HEALTH”. Based on the results from the post-program survey, participants identified an increase in ability to balance occupations, incorporate stress management skills, an increase in feeling supported, prioritizing mental health and self-care, and increase in confidence. The results indicate a great need for OT working with this population. OTs can support women through this program by providing mental health intervention, practicing client centered care, providing resources, equipping women with tools and strategies, self-advocacy training, etc.
An Exploration of the Lifestyle of Rodeo Athletes
Brooke Tunnell, Susan MacDermott, and Becki Cohill
Rodeo is considered one of the most rapid-growing sports across many nations and consists of highly talented, tough athletes (Haney & Pearson, 1999). There is a gap in the research that examines the occupation of rodeo through an occupational therapy and occupational science perspective. Occupational science, the study of human occupation, focuses on how the form, function, and meaning of daily activities influence health and well-being (Larson & Zemke, 2003). Form, function, and meaning guided the mixed-method research study utilizing survey, interview, narrative prompt, and photo elicitation. Three themes were extracted from the data and embodied the personal and occupational experiences of rodeo. The research findings enhance the knowledge of the occupation of rodeo and inform the occupational therapy profession. The research findings support the importance of cultural responsiveness, balancing positive and negative effects that occupations have on health, and recognizing the importance of community and occupation. Future research would benefit from continuing to explore the complexity of rodeo and the long-lasting health effects that may arise from participation in the sport.
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