A Quasi-Experimental Study Investigating the Impact of a Lifestyle Redesign Program on the Well-Being of Korean University StudentsRead the full article
Occupational Therapy International publishes research reflecting the practice of occupational therapy throughout the world. Topics include reliability and validity of clinical instruments, assistive technology, and community rehabilitation.
Chief Editor, Dr Mackenzie worked in orthopaedics, general medicine and managed the Hunter Equipment Service and PADP services before being appointed as the first occupational therapist employed by community health services in Newcastle.
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The Effect of Leisure Intervention on Occupational Performance and Occupational Balance in Individuals with Substance Use Disorder: A Pilot Study
Background and Purpose. Leisure, as an occupation, played a crucial role in promoting individuals’ health and well-being. However, the specific impact of leisure as an intervention for individuals with substance use disorder remains unclear. This pilot study was aimed at investigating the effect of a leisure intervention on occupational performance and occupational balance in individuals with substance use disorder. Methods. The sample for this quasiexperimental pretest–posttest with a two-month follow-up design comprised nine individuals aged between 18 and 55 years, selected using a convenience sampling method. The intervention consisted of a 2-month group leisure participation program, conducted twice a week, followed by a 2-month follow-up period. Primary outcome measures included occupational performance and occupational balance, and secondary outcome measures were leisure participation, quality of life, and drug craving. Outcome measures were assessed three times: preintervention, postintervention, and after the follow-up period. The outcome measures included the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), Occupational Balance Questionnaire-11 (OBQ11), Nottingham Leisure Questionnaire (NLQ), 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and Desire to Drug Questionnaire (DDQ). Data analysis was performed using the Friedman test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test as a post hoc procedure, with a significance level set at 5%. Results. The findings showed significant improvements in participants’ occupational performance in postintervention and follow-up assessments (, ) and better occupational balance from pre- to postintervention (, ) and after the follow-up period (, ). Furthermore, significant enhancements were observed in leisure participation, quality of life, and a reduction in drug craving. Conclusion. The findings indicate that leisure intervention positively impacted both occupational performance and occupational balance, suggesting its potential as a beneficial therapeutic approach for individuals with substance use disorder. Additional research is warranted to delve deeper into and validate the effectiveness of leisure intervention within this specific population.
Worldwide Survey on Digital Assistive Technology (DAT) Provision
Occupational therapists have long been involved in assistive technology (AT) provision worldwide. AT is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to enhance functioning, independence, and autonomy and ultimately promote well-being for people living with disabilities. With the digitalisation of societies, the everyday lives and occupations of individuals are changing, becoming more reliant on digital solutions. The development of digital assistive technology (DAT) also offers opportunities for people with disabilities to access, interact, and pilot the digital world. However, we do not know how occupational therapists are involved in DAT provision worldwide. A survey was conducted in the global occupational therapist’s community in June 2022 to describe DAT provision and the factors influencing it. Occupational therapy practitioners were included () in the analysis. In DAT provision, occupational therapists mostly provide advice to people, assess their needs, provide instruction or training, prescribe DAT, and fit DAT to people and their environment. The clients served through DAT provision are most frequently people with neurological impairments, chronic illnesses, sensory impairments, and older people. The reasons for providing DAT focus on education, work, school, and leisure. It is expected that DAT provision will enhance independence, self-esteem, occupational participation, and social relationships. Issues faced by occupational therapists when providing DAT are costs of product and funding schemes, sufficient knowledge, and access to knowledge sources. Survey respondents are mostly from Western countries with access to the Internet and the digital world, including having digital literacy, highlighting the digital divide that exists between world regions and countries, but also within countries worldwide. There is a need to continue research to better understand the issues related to digitalisation and the digital participation of people living with disabilities.
The Occupational Therapy Profession in Saudi Arabia
Objective. To provide an evidence-based description of how the occupational therapy profession operates in Saudi Arabia. Methods. A case study methodology set out an evidence-based description of occupational therapy in Saudi Arabia. Three procedures were used: (1) a structured narrative review of publications on occupational therapy in Saudi Arabia based on searches of seven healthcare databases; (2) an audit of “grey literature” about or referring to occupational therapy education, practice, research, or the profession in Saudi Arabia using Google Scholar, Google search, official documents and websites, and relevant global organisation such as the WFOT website and documents; and (3) consultation with occupational therapists to further discuss emerging evidence from peer-reviewed articles and grey literature about occupational therapy in Saudi Arabia. Data were collected in Arabic and English. Findings. Occupational therapy in Saudi Arabia is a rapidly growing and emerging profession primarily focused on rehabilitation practice. Between 2010 and 2019, seven academic organisations commenced bachelor’s degree programmes. Occupational therapy services in Saudi Arabia are concentrated in city-based secondary and tertiary healthcare services targeting rehabilitation and disability support. The practice aims to promote the reduction in impairment and increase activity performance and participation in valued life roles. Despite the increasing demand for occupational therapy services, there needs to be more access to and availability of their services. Enhancement of the awareness of occupational therapy among the public and other healthcare professionals is needed. A consistent definition of occupational therapy in Saudi Arabia would strengthen the profession, along with a national scope of practice, practice guidelines, increased workforce and development, and professional education information. Conclusion. Occupational therapy in Saudi Arabia is growing regarding the size of the workforce and the number of programmes and services provided, thus contributing to the health and well-being of the population primarily through rehabilitation. Further development of the profession is necessary.
The Impact of Raising Children with Barth Syndrome on Parental Health-Related Quality of Life and Family Functioning: Preliminary Reliability and Validity of the PedsQL™ Family Impact Module
Objective. This study examined the preliminary reliability and validity of the PedsQL™ Family Impact Module (PedsQL FIM) in families of children with Barth syndrome (BTHS). Method. A total of 72 parents with children or youth between the ages of 5 and 19 participated in this study. Thirty-three parents of children with BTHS and 39 parents of unaffected children completed the PedsQL FIM and a demographic information form. Internal consistency reliability and item-total correlations were calculated to test the reliability of the PedsQL FIM. Construct validity was examined using the known-groups method. We estimated the mean score differences of the PedsQL FIM between the two groups using three different models, including unadjusted, multivariate regression, and propensity score matching with inverse probability of treatment weighting (PS-IPTW) models. Results. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were greater than 0.70 for all scales of the PedsQL FIM, except for the communication scale. The item-total correlations were significant for all scales with moderate to high correlations (). In construct validity, the mean scores of the PedsQL FIM between the two groups were significantly different () for all scales and total score in the unadjusted and PS-IPTW models. However, in the multivariate regression model, the family relationships scale was not significant between the two groups. Conclusion. The PedsQL FIM demonstrated adequate measurement properties of preliminary reliability and validity in assessing the impact of children with BTHS on parental health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and family functioning. Further research needs to be conducted to examine the psychometric properties of the PedsQL FIM with a large sample of BTHS and with other pediatric rare diseases.
Usability of Public Play Spaces for Children with Disabilities
Purpose. To investigate the usability of public play spaces for children with disabilities by exploring their experiences in accessing and using these spaces and to further discuss recommendations for designing such spaces that are usable for these children. Methods. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was employed to explore the experience of children with disabilities regarding the public play spaces. Seven children and their caregivers from two inclusive elementary schools in Central Java Province, Indonesia, participated in the study. Online semistructured interviews with the children were held using Zoom, followed by telephonic interviews with their parents. In addition, video recordings of the observation of the children’s participation in the play spaces were gathered. The interview and video observation data were analyzed using van Manen’s hermeneutic phenomenology thematic analysis method. Results. Five themes arose regarding the experiences of children with disabilities of accessing and using the public play spaces: (1) where time appeared to speed up, (2) “I like the tall one … I like extreme,” (3) fostering connectedness, (4) the need for a safe space, and (5) how a play space should be. Conclusion. The public play spaces have meaningful values for the children with disabilities and their family, as they offered the opportunities to play, explore, interact with friends and families, enjoy nature, interact with animals, and learn. However, it is essential to provide a safe space in which children are free from physical and emotional harm, so that they can fully participate with confidence and a sense of autonomy. Nevertheless, it was also found that children, regardless of their abilities, craved risky and challenging play opportunities. This study also highlights the necessity of awareness-raising intervention programs to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in public play space settings.
Requirements for Universally Accessible Upper-Body Exercise Equipment: The Case of People with Spinal Cord Injuries in Korea
Background. People with disabilities face considerable obstacles when exercising, which precludes them from the social and health benefits of physical activity. Especially for individuals with paraplegia with spinal cord injuries, it is necessary to maintain continuous participation in physical activity even after discharge, as it helps to maintain mobility and daily living activities through upper body strength. However, the participation rate of people with disabilities in physical activity in Korea is still low, mainly due to the lack of exercise equipment and facilities. Objectives. The aim of this study is to identify aspects that can be improved for better accessibility to exercise equipment for individuals with paraplegia with spinal cord injuries and to reach a consensus on possible guidelines for accessible exercise equipment. Methods. This study reviews and evaluated the usability of four existing upper-body exercise equipment for individuals with paraplegia with spinal cord injuries. To assess usability, task performance scores and time were measured, and a survey was conducted on safety and satisfaction. Based on these results, areas for improvement were identified. Through literature review, usability results, and opinions from various stakeholders, eight requirements for universal accessibility were proposed. Results. It is necessary to consider how wheelchair users access the exercise equipment. The access method to the exercise area (facility regulations, auxiliary equipment to be provided, etc.) and placement of exercise equipment should also be considered. Information such as explanations of the exercise equipment and how to use it should be located within the wheelchair user’s field of vision. Considering the participation rate in sports for people with disabilities in Korea, it is necessary to explain the exact exercise equipment and exercise method. It is also necessary to consider how wheelchair users transfer from the wheelchair to the seat of the exercise equipment. Parts that require manipulation of each exercise equipment must be within the wheelchair user’s range of motion. Various supports or assistive devices that provide body support according to each piece of equipment are needed. In addition to the wheelchair’s own brake, it is necessary to provide a fixing device so that the wheelchair does not move during the exercise. Conclusion. For people with spinal cord injuries, the arm ergometer, aerobic exercise equipment, showed higher scores in performance, stability, and satisfaction compared to other exercise equipment. Among the strength exercise equipment, shoulder press had an effect on performance, seated lat pull-down had an effect on stability, and seated chest press had an effect on satisfaction. Therefore, when selecting exercise equipment, it is necessary to recommend aerobic and strength exercise equipment according to the preferences of people with spinal cord injuries. When developing strength exercise equipment, it is necessary to consider usability evaluation factors for individuals with spinal cord injury.