Is occupational therapy adequately meeting the needs of people with chronic pain?

  • Robinson K
  • Kennedy N
  • Harmon D
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Abstract

This paper deconstructs contemporary occupational therapy services and challenges current professional philosophy and practice. This article discusses contemporary occupational therapy for people with chronic pain with reference to a broad range of literature from many disciplines, and it examines the success of occupational therapy services in meeting the occupational needs of people with chronic pain. It concludes with a call for action that identifies key strategies for the future development of occupational therapy research and services for people with chronic pain. The development and delivery of efficacious pain management services are critical, given the human and economic costs of chronic pain. Evidence-based practice (EBP) emphasizes clinician decision making based on the best available evidence and client preferences. To address the limited evidence supporting occupation-based practice with people with chronic pain, occupational therapists must demonstrate the efficacy of occupation-based practice for this population. This article is a red flag to the profession; if occupational therapists do not act quickly to address the limitations of current practice, other professional groups will continue to develop expertise in the use of activity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Activities of daily living
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Intractable
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain

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Authors

  • Katie Robinson

  • Norelee Kennedy

  • Dominic Harmon

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