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The common denominator between occupational and physical therapy is to focus on the value of a true therapeutic use of oneself in selfless giving. Working effectively with a client means that the client is always at the center of every team member’s thoughts; requiring that each team member preserve autonomy, celebrate common backgrounds and unique insights, and remember that each perspective is contributory but not more important than another.

Cornerstone Concepts

  • Relationship between basic science and theoretical intervention approaches in physical and occupational therapy

  • The complementary roles of occupational and physical therapy in neurological rehabilitation

  • Application of disablement model and focus on enablement

  • The APTA and AOTA guides to practice and practice framework

  • Clinical decision making and clinical reasoning

Caring for patients is the single most important concern of rehabilitation professionals. Patient care and human service are probably the incentives that draw most aspiring clinicians to either occupational or physical therapy as a chosen profession. Regardless of the unique setting in which one works, caring for people is the very glue that binds all of us together and enthuses us as we approach every workday. Clinicians, managers, educators, researchers, and writers all literally do what they do for the person entrusted to their care. The patient gives meaning to who we are and what we do as health care professionals. As the fields of physical and occupational therapy develop, change, and mature, the patient or client remains at the center and provides the motivation for continued professional development.

In both occupational and physical therapy, several different terms may be used to identify the recipient of these professional services. In physical therapy, the traditional term patient continues to be most commonly used, especially when referring to individuals within the medical setting. With the broadening of services to include wellness, screening, education, and preventive care, use of the term client is gaining in popularity in both professions. In the field of occupational therapy, the word client is more often used than the word patient to indicate that many occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants do not work in medical model settings (Moyers, 1999). The word client may indicate that therapists and their assistants provide population-based services in which the client may be a group of people, an organization, or a community. Even when the client is a group of people, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants still provide intervention based on the understanding of the occupational performance needs of a single individual.

In this book, the words patient and client are used interchangeably for both disciplines. Both professions commonly employ the words intervention and intervention planning to denote the collaborative role of the client in the treatment process. In the past, the word treatment was thought to imply something done to people rather than with people. ...

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