Primary Health Promotion – What It Is And Its Benefits
In an age of globalization and information exchange, it is important for organizations to be on top of issues pertaining to health and nutrition as they relate to their employees and communities. However, the most pressing need today is primary health care and promotion of family planning and pregnancy prevention to improve the quality of life for women and children everywhere. Background: Background/Aim: Given the global re-orientation of primary health care towards upstream health services, there is an urgent need to investigate the role of occupational therapy as a partner in this field of service. Recent findings indicate that occupational therapy is becoming a vital element in promoting healthy lifestyles and better health by developing the skills of occupational therapists and their training partners.
What is occupational therapy? Occupational therapy is the practice of using specialized tools, equipment, and training to assist with rehabilitation and the management of disabilities. The term is derived from the Greek word ‘autokratus’ which translates to ‘handy man.’ Occupational therapy professionals work with individuals and groups to help them gain new abilities or increase their self-care.
Occupational therapy practitioners are trained to work with individuals who have varying needs. These may range from rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, to physical therapy to addressing the emotional needs of aging adults. There are many specialties in occupational therapy, but they all share similar core competencies, such as:
Developing a customized plan for an individual’s needs and challenges. The skills of a well-trained occupational therapist include: problem solving skills, communication, and problem-solving techniques. They also learn how to identify and create goals and how to communicate those goals. In some cases, occupational therapists may even have to work with patients and families as they work through problems. They may also need to develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with these same patients and their families to ensure optimal performance of their tasks.
Providing appropriate equipment, supplies, and materials. Occupational therapy professionals may work with clients in conjunction with health care providers to provide equipment, supplies, and materials that facilitate optimal performance and safety. This may include the implementation of ergonomic training.
Educating patients and families about health care. Occupational therapists may work to improve the understanding and trust between patients and their physicians. In doing so, they help patients to recognize their own needs and the unique needs of their family. They also help to build community support and empower patients and caregivers to become more involved. Through programs such as: community-based interventions, occupational therapist support, and volunteer opportunities, occupational therapists may encourage families to engage with the care of their loved ones and to better understand their health and to become active participants in their own treatment.
Improving the health and wellness of populations. The needs of families are often not well understood by health care providers. Occupational therapy professionals can work with families to identify specific needs, help them achieve and maintain good health and wellness through activities such as: stress management, food consumption, dietary education, exercise, and nutritional counseling. They also help them to learn about health risks and how to reduce the risks through proper nutrition and physical activity.
Primary health promotion also involves building a stronger network of connections with communities and organizations within the broader context of health care services. Working with community leaders and local healthcare agencies can increase access to and enhance the ability of families to receive health care. This helps communities to promote overall wellness.
Working to make primary health care accessible. For many people, there may be obstacles to obtaining primary health care or to getting care that they require for an existing condition. Occupational therapists can work to improve the quality of care that is available to families and individuals by providing education, information, training, and resources.
In addition to improving access, occupational therapy professionals also can work to ensure that the health of families remains at a high level. By providing education and advocacy, occupational therapists may work to improve access to quality care that leads to overall health and well-being.
Occupational therapy is a key component of primary health promotion. Occupational therapy provides the health and wellness benefits that every patient needs by focusing on the primary areas of health and well-being.