Innovation and invention: the role of virtual occupational therapy in the management of motor neurone disease

Ghosh, Malabika and Cox, Diane ORCID logo ORCID: (2021) Innovation and invention: the role of virtual occupational therapy in the management of motor neurone disease. British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 17 (6). pp. 241-246. Item availability may be restricted.

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Background: Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition with no known cure. Supportive management and symptom control by a multidisciplinary team forms the mainstay of treatment. Caring for patients with MND throughout the COVID-19 required service providers to think of ways to adapt the service in order to meet the acute and constantly changing needs of their service users within pandemic guidelines.

Aims: This paper explores innovative changes within the occupational therapy service provision during the pandemic and how it supports the multidisciplinary team (MDT) working. It also evaluates the merits and disadvantages of using virtual technology in specific areas of occupational therapy intervention.

Methods: A set of prioritisation criteria was developed to understand the rationale for virtual versus face-to-face input. A reflective process has been used to identify and evaluate innovative service provision in occupational therapy in the management of motor neurone disease.

Findings: Virtual consultations were an effective way of providing certain aspects of occupational therapy input. Virtual consultations were found to be less effective during moving and handling assessments, complex environmental adaptations assessment and when managing complex cognitive presentations. During the pandemic there was a rise in referrals for cognitive behavioural management, a specialist area of expertise for occupational therapy in this clinical area. A holistic approach was paramount in meeting the evolving needs of patients across functional domains. Occupational therapy complemented the caring and supportive role of nurses and other members of the MDT in the management of MND.

Conclusions: Occupational therapy input can support an MDT by providing valuable assessment of functional decline, specialist equipment, supporting cognitive-behavioural performance, restoring life roles and minimising the challenges imposed by the environment. Using virtual technology discernibly can be an invaluable approach to occupational therapy practice within an MDT setting for managing a progressive neurological condition, such as MND, during a pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
Publisher: MA Healthcare
ISSN: 2052-2800
Departments: Institute of Health > Social Work, Children and Families
Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 10:26
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2024 08:00
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