Rev Neurol 2002 Aug 16;35(4):366-72
Perez De Heredia Torres M, Cuadrado Perez ML.
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Alcorcon, Espa a.
To review the fundamentals of occupational therapy (OT) and to present its possible contributions in the field of neurological rehabilitation.
As its name suggests, OT is a form of treatment that makes use of occupations. Furthermore, occupation is a purpose itself, since OT seeks to adapt the individual to the occupation and the occupation to the individual. The postulates on which OT rests are:
1. The occupational nature of human beings,
2. Human dignity, and
3. A dual therapeutic approach both focal and global. OT acts not only on the individual but also on the environment surrounding him or her.
Neurology is one of the most important fields of application for OT, as patients suffering from neurological illnesses are often limited in their ability to perform activities of daily living. OT attempts to diminish or compensate for cognitive, perceptive or motor deficiencies so that the neurological patient may reach the highest degree of functioning and independence. Although up to now the efficiency of OT has not been evaluated in a systematic way, there are some studies that support its clinical usefulness in certain neurological disorders, such as cerebrovascular diseases, dementias and multiple sclerosis.
OT can increase the independence and quality of life of neurological patients. New studies are needed to prove the efficacy of OT in different disorders and to analyse its financial implications.