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Common myths about occupational therapy busted!

1Oct 2019

Occupational therapy is very much a self-explanatory word but many people have many misconceptions regarding its benefits, which needs occupational therapy and what exactly is the use of occupational therapy. According to a survey it has been found that in Europe 27% people suffer from some kind of mental illness, around 45% to 75% people suffer from physical illness ranging from moderate to severe conditions and approximately 35% to 45% people have some kind of psychiatric disorder which required lifestyle modifications and occupational activities.

The statistics in India are also very alarming. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India is the most depressed country in the world. Delhi/NCR tops the list in India as per many surveys and mental illness related news we hear regularly. At least 6.5% of the Indians suffer from some of the other forms of serious mental disorder.

In this article, we are here to bust some of the most common myths associated with various aspects of occupational therapy.

  1. One of the most common myths about occupational therapy is that it will have a similar technique or approach for all medical, surgical and metabolic conditions. It is wrong. Best occupational therapy will always be customized and planned according to the goals and requirements of the individual. The nature, duration, and essentials of the therapy given are different for different individuals and require interventions as per the case details. For example, a diabetic patient will be advised a mobile lifestyle contrary to a more sedentary and comfortable lifestyle of a patient recovering from a limb injury.

  2. Another myth about occupational therapy is that it is similar to that of physical therapy. It is not at all true. Occupational therapy is entirely different from physical therapy and people who need them are also different. Physical therapy aims at restoring physical or functional independence in a person. On the contrary occupational therapy works on lifestyle modifications by modification of your surroundings. They make your surroundings more interactive, convenient and comfortable so that your disability cannot come in your way of productivity and performance.

  3. One very common myth about occupational therapy is that it is required by physically challenged or disabled people. It is not at all true. Best occupational therapy is something which we all need to make our surroundings eco-friendly and comfortable to our body. It is designed as per the ideal height, weight, and shape of the body of an individual. According to the nature of your work, physical parameters and medical needs things like the distance of your chair from the table and position of lamps at your work station are decided.

  4. Next popular myth about occupational therapy is that it is not compulsory for people suffering from mental, physical or psychological disorders. It is said that many individuals believe that occupational therapy is not a part of the overall rehabilitation program and is not required by all. But again it is not at all true. According to research, it has been found that 20% of people who decides to take occupational therapy find out that they actually needed it. In ninety percent of cases where occupational therapy is given to the patient, the outcome can be significantly improved.

Active participation of patients can speed up the entire process of rehabilitation by many folds. Though financial issues and organizational problems pose as a limiting factor for active participation, therapist and patients can work together to find a middle way out.

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