“ Occupational therapy may be defined as any activity, mental or physical, definitely prescribed and guided for the distinct purpose of contributing to and hastening recovery from disease or injury.” – Dr. H.A. Pattinson (One of the first occupational therapists in the year 1921) (Dunton pp. 4)
What is occupational therapy? Cont.
Even though Dr. Pattison defined the term “occupational therapy” very well, however for those of us who know absolutely nothing about the field, his definition may be considered just gibberish
So, in a nutshell, occupational therapy is basically the treatment of all types of individuals who may be suffering from all types of different disease, or abnormalities physically or mentally
Occupational Therapy Fun by Pricedawna on flicr
What types of patients are needed for occupational therapy?
There are many different types of patients that occupational therapists treat and some of the abnormalities may include: (Pierson pp. 1)
Severe hand damage
Birth defects of all types
My hands after climbing by Orvaq on flckr
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy literally means “treatment of physical agents” (Krumhansl pp. 1)
This definition basically means that physical therapists treat patients who have more physical needs
Patients who are in need of physical therapy and do not get treatment have a possibility that their condition may worsen if left untreated (Krumhansl pp. 2)
What do physical therapists do?
“ Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They restore, maintain and promote overall fitness and health.” – Occupational Outlook Handbook (Krumhansl pp. 2)
082108joshruchotzke09_flickr by Matt Buedel on flickr
What types of patients are needed for physical therapy?
Just like occupational therapy, there are many types of patients that physical therapists treat, however overall physical therapists treat patients with: (Manternach pp. 1)
Heart and lung conditions
Calcified No.2 by Prof. Jas. Mundie on flckr
So… What’s the difference?
From the slides, I am sure you can determine the many differences, however the main difference is that physical therapy deals with the physical strength of an individual and general motor skills needed for everyday life, such as walking, and occupational therapy deal with mental strength and fine motor skills, such as picking up a needle and writing (Pierson pp. 1)
0))) by Drugo on flickr Day 3- I write by snorrlax on flickr
Are there any similarities between the two fields?
Yes there are actually
Sometimes a physical and occupational therapists need to work together
The most common example is when a patient becomes paralyzed from the waist down
The physical therapists teaches the patient how to get in and out of their wheelchair with using just their arms and the patient is constantly working the patient’s upper body strength (Dunton pp. 15)
Then the occupational therapist takes over and teaches the patient how to use their hands to their best ability, for example grasping a small object or writing, because a majority of the time the patient has also suffered from some type of traumatic experience and the occupational therapist if there to help the patient with that recovery as well (Dunton pp. 15)
Beauty ES 111 by Mamooneleg on flickr
Dunton, W. R. (1957). History of occupational therapy. Occupational therapy principles and practice (2 nd ed., pp. 3-13). Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher
Dunton, W.R. (1957). Kinetic occupational therapy. Occupational therapy principles and practice (2 nd ed., pp. 14- 25). Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher
Krumhansl, B. (2000) History and overview of physical therapy. In K. Siebel (Ed.), Opportunities in physical therapy careers (pp. 1-23). United States: VGM Career Books.
Manternach, K. (January 2008). Physical Therapy. Retrieved March 08, 2009 from http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/ill/phys_therapy.html
Pierson, K.S., (October 2007). Occupational therapy. Retrieved March 08, 2009 from http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/ill/occupational_therapy.html