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Caithness General Hospital
Queen Elizabeth Assessment & Rehabilitation Unit

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy can be described as the use of purposeful activity to facilitate a person in achieving their maximum potential for independent living.  It therefore has a great deal to offer to rehabilitation.

On the Queen Elizabeth Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit, input is provided by a qualified Occupational Therapist and an assistant.  Through discussions with the multi-disciplinary team it is decided who may benefit from Occupational Therapy and referral is subsequently made (this accounts for a high proportion of patients on the unit).

Facilities available for assessment and treatment include an assessment kitchen and bathroom and also a large treatment room.  Some sessions can also take place at ward level.

Once referral is made a comprehensive assessment is carried out, which may take place over several sessions.  Areas assessed include cognitive function, perception, sensory function and physical abilities.  A patientís mental state is also taken into account as depression or anxiety can affect the assessment outcome.

Following assessment a treatment plan is devised focusing on areas of difficulties highlighted.

The sessions then use purposeful activity as a treatment medium and can include everyday activities such as self-care and domestic tasks.  These are often tasks with which people wish to regain independence with, in preparation for discharge home.

Occupational Therapists can also focus on leisure and work rehabilitation according to individual need.

The reasons behind each treatment plan vary and the emphasis for carrying out a particular activity will not be the same for each individual.

Prior to discharge from hospital a home assessment visit is often indicated.  The patient usually accompanies the Therapist to their home, where further assessment is carried out in their familiar environment.  These visits may involve family and community workers, especially if they are likely to be involved prior to discharge home.

Sometimes special equipment or slight modification to the home environment can be indicated for discharge.  The outcome of the home assessment visit is then communicated to the multi-disciplinary team as part of discharge planning.