Though explored quite deeply in the present-day healthcare and nursing environment, the significance of occupational therapy (OT) still needs major enhancement.
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Despite the fact that the field in question was established quite long ago, it still lacks consistent strategies, as the analysis of the article by Gray (1998) shows.
While the article under analysis represents the necessary information in a cohesive and understandable manner, the fact that the article is quite old, as well as that the author puts a relatively small emphasis on the significance of family members’ involvement, reduces the value of the study slightly.
Despite being written comparatively long ago, the article still offers a unique experience by engaging the reader into the analysis of a case study of Alejandro, an OT patient.
Herein one of the strengths of the article lies – instead of providing dry theoretical facts, it offers the readers to analyze a unique case, which demonstrates the importance of OT as a tool for addressing mental disorders and deficiencies.
More importantly, the study provides essential implications for the OT specialist’s practice, such as the importance of occupation as a tool for enhancing the patient’s wellbeing: “Occupation, applied in this manner, is a unique contribution to a client’s recovery” (Gray, 1998, p. 359).
Another obvious advantage of the article concerns a detailed methodology and a rather cohesive approach towards establishing the significance of OT.
Finally, the author proves in a very graphic manner that OT, in fact, helps make the patient invested into regular activities and social interactions, therefore, enhancing the recovery process: “Alejandro and noted that he had significant restrictions in terms of his mobility and had not overcome the decline in functional status resulting from the second accident” (Gray, 1998, p. 360).
It would be wrong to claim that the article has no evident problems, though. Fist and most obvious, the study needs a clearer emphasis on the role of the family members in the recovery process.
As the study shows, the patient was reluctant to communicate with his family. Moreover, the interaction with family members seemed to deteriorate the process of recovery. However, the author never mentions whether the family members were given specific instructions for communicating with the patient.
Therefore, a study of the communication between the patient and the family members under the supervision and guidance of the therapist could have been studied more thoroughly.
Apart from the above-mentioned issue, the article is also rather dated. Indeed, being published in 1998, it contains a range of data that could use a major update.
Among the key issues, which an OT specialist may find engaging and important to take a notice of, the enhancement of the patient’s cognition process and recovery rates with the help of communication with family members should be listed, as the patient “could not always rely on family members for transportation or other assistance” (Gray, 1998, p. 359) and, therefore, needed family support badly.
The case in point is a graphic example of the significance of family members; engagement in the recovery process, which an OT nurse must take account of.
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Therefore, the article can be deemed as fairly useful in terms of its results and their application to the OT practice. Particularly, the significance of the OT as an approach to patient treatment deserves to be mentioned.
The author explores the subject in depth and addresses some of the crucial ideas of OT, which means that the article is clearly worth reading and that the author’s viewpoint deserves to be incorporated into the set of an OT specialist’s strategies.
Gray, J. M. (1998). Putting occupation into practice: Occupation as ends, occupation as means. The American Journal of Occupation Therapy, 52(5), 354–364.