Emerging Trends In Occupation Therapy

abstract picture of therapy

What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is not static. It keeps evolving, just like behavioural patterns, illnesses, and physical impairments. As more people focus on holistic treatments, the importance of occupational therapists cannot be overlooked. 

The following are some of the emerging trends in occupation therapy. 

Focus On Wellness

Many Singaporeans are taking a holistic approach to wellness. Disease prevention has become more important than treatment. Occupational therapists have a place in the lives of patients struggling with decisions on how to improve their health. 

Smart Technology

For a long time, occupational therapy was seen in terms of affirmative human interactions. The therapists would spend time with the patients to assess how they breathe, sleep, and other activities that may affect their health.

Today, occupational therapy involves the use of smart gadgets to get accurate results. For example, smart health tags are being used to monitor a patient’s sleep quality, heart rate, and other activities.  

Once they collect the biometric data, occupational therapists can plan the best treatment approach. Patients will also receive real-time feedback on their progress and performance. 

Active Patient Participation

Occupational therapists no longer take the role of the healthcare service provider. Instead, the therapist is only part of the solution. The patient is also expected to take an active role in their recovery.

The patient is to take a more active role in the treatment process. They should be able to tell how they feel about the treatment. If it is not working or the patient is uncomfortable, the therapist may give alternatives, but it is best if the patient is involved. 

Sleep Quality

Sleeping disorders have become more prevalent as adults work longer. Stress and unhealthy lifestyles have also pushed more people to sleep less or remain restless. This has affected productivity and the health of many people.

Occupational therapists are now being called upon to help sleep-deprived patients find a balance between rest and work. Therapists are now finding ways to modify the sleeping environment so that it is more conducive. They are also recommending better sleeping cycles to help patients become more productive without sacrificing sleep. 

The Management Of Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases continue to put pressure on healthcare systems across Singapore and indeed the rest of the world. Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, and heart attack are some of the leading chronic diseases in Singapore. 

Instead of only having the option of seeing a doctor for treatment, patients can now visit occupational therapists to help them cope. Initiating a lifestyle change is not easy, especially if it is because your health is failing. 

Occupational therapists help patients overcome anxiety over having a chronic disease. The therapist will help develop a plan to help the patient adjust and make decisions to help them cope. 

The role of occupational therapists has become broader and more demanding. However, this change in the occupational therapy approach has drawn more Singaporeans to seek the services of an occupational therapist. 

Besides helping the patients, the broad approach of occupational therapy has increased the specialities in occupational therapy. Now, occupational therapists can pick their preferred speciality to meet the increasing demand for services.