What are some ways for occupational therapists to choose which therapeutic activities to use with clients via telehealth?
When selecting therapeutic activities to use with clients via telehealth, occupational therapists in Australia can follow these practices:
Client-Centred Approach: Adopt a client-centred approach, taking into account the individual needs, preferences, and goals of the client. Engage in open and collaborative discussions with the client to understand their interests, limitations, and therapeutic objectives.
Assessment and Evaluation: Conduct a thorough assessment of the client’s functional abilities, challenges, and areas of improvement. Gather information about their physical, cognitive, and emotional capabilities through telehealth assessments and discussions. Utilise assessment tools specifically designed for remote evaluation, if available.
Adaptability and Flexibility: Consider the client’s home environment, available resources, and space limitations when selecting therapeutic activities. Choose activities that can be easily modified and adapted to suit the telehealth format and the client’s unique circumstances. Provide alternative options to accommodate varying skill levels and physical capabilities.
Evidence-Based Practice: Base your selection of therapeutic activities on evidence-based practice and research. Stay informed about the latest occupational therapy literature and studies related to telehealth interventions. Consult professional resources, practice guidelines, and reputable online platforms to gather relevant information.
Activity Analysis: Apply activity analysis principles to evaluate the therapeutic potential of different activities in achieving desired outcomes. Analyse the demands of the activity, including physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects, and match them with the client’s goals and abilities. Break down complex activities into manageable components as needed.
Therapeutic Goals and Outcomes: Align the chosen activities with the client’s therapeutic goals and desired outcomes. Identify the specific skills, functions, or behaviours that need to be targeted and select activities that promote their development. Consider the relevance of the activities to the client’s daily life and functional needs.
Client Engagement and Motivation: Choose activities that are meaningful, engaging, and motivating for the client. Incorporate their interests, hobbies, or personal goals into the therapeutic activities. Use creative approaches, gamification, or technology-enhanced options to enhance client engagement and participation.
Accessibility and Resource Availability: Consider the accessibility of materials, tools, and resources required for the selected activities. Opt for activities that can be easily implemented using common household items or virtual platforms. Provide alternative suggestions if specific materials are not readily available.
Collaboration with the Client: Involve the client in the decision-making process regarding activity selection. Seek their input, preferences, and feedback to promote a sense of ownership and empowerment. Encourage active participation and provide options for them to choose from, whenever possible.
Evaluation and Progress Monitoring: Regularly assess the effectiveness and impact of the chosen therapeutic activities. Monitor the client’s progress, functional improvements, and satisfaction levels. Seek feedback from the client to make adjustments and modifications as needed.
By following these guidelines, occupational therapists can effectively select therapeutic activities that align with the goals and preferences of their clients during telehealth sessions in Australia.
Leanne Hopkins is an Occupational Therapist at Succeed Healthcare Solutions and is passionate about creating a world where families thrive. If you or someone you know is interested in undertaking therapy via telehealth with a team trained and experienced in telehealth for several years, please contact us and arrange a free 15-minute Discovery Interview to see how we can assist.