Health, Safety And Occupational Therapy

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Health and Safety in the Environment on Occupational Therapy



Occupational therapy is a health-related profession that primarily serves persons with disabilities. It is concerned with the well-being of persons in their everyday occupations (i.e., work, play, and daily living tasks). The profession sees occupation as a necessary aspect of life, contributing to physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Occupational therapists work with individuals whose participation in occupation is threatened or hampered by impairments and/or environmental barriers.

The origins of occupational therapy are the eighteenth-century moral treatment approach. Moral treatment was a European movement that saw mental illness as a form of demoralization emanating from disruption of a person's connection with the mores or customary activities of society. Moral treatment consisted of inviting and supporting participation in everyday activities as a means of “demoralizing” individuals by reintegrating them into ordinary routines of living. Moral treatment exported to North America and practiced in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the mid-1800s, overcrowding and underfunding of state hospitals led to its virtual demise. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007)

Health and Occupational Therapy

In mid-twentieth century, the field became more closely aligned with medicine and the medical model. As a consequence, more attention was paid to remediation of underlying impairments that contributed to disability. In the 1970s and 1980s, this emphasis on impairments was increasingly criticized from within the field. Consequently, leaders sought to return occupational therapy to a more holistic practice centered on the client's participation in everyday life occupations. (Kielhofner, 2002)

The contemporary focus of the field is, therefore, on the client's challenges or difficulties with participation in occupations. Occupational therapy services seek to enhance individuals' performance and satisfaction in work, play, and activities of daily living through reducing impairments and through ...
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