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Occupation-based program development in primary health care Melissa Howey, Tania Angelucci, Dawn Johnston and Elizabeth Townsend Inclusion of occupation-based programs in primary ronment with a focus on client- About the authors – health care increases the availability of services that centred occupations (Wittman & Melissa howey, MSc(OT), contribute to comprehensive, quality primary health Velde, 2001). is an occupational thera- care and to occupational community development The difference between the pist at the Vancouver General Hospital (Lauckner, Pentland, & Patterson, 2008). In this article two approaches is the focus on Vancouver, British Co- we illustrate how a theoretical understanding of oc- disability and illness prevention in lumbia. cupation and enablement may be applied to develop primary health care and the reme- Tania Angelucci, MSc(OT), primary health care occupational therapy. diation or rehabilitation of exist- is an occupational ing disability or illness through therapist in the Living Sky Occupation-based primary health care community-based occupational School Division in North Primary health care places attention on health pro- therapy. In the past twenty years Battleford, Saskatchewan. motion, disease prevention, and identifies needs to there has been a shift from institu- Dawn Johnston, MSc(OT), increase access to services for all individuals (Health tion-based, remedial occupational is an occupational thera- Canada, 2006). The goal of primary heath care is to therapy to community-based pist for Harbourstone Enhanced Care Sydney in provide preventative services as opposed to reactive remedial occupational therapy. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. services that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of Now the shift is extending illness and injury. Primary health care encompasses occupational therapy into primary Elizabeth Townsend, PhD., OT (C), Reg. NS, is a Profes- services beyond traditional health care to include health care within the community, sor and the Director of education, income, housing, and environment (Health redefining health as physical, the School of Occupation- Canada, 2006). mental, and social well-being al Therapy at Dalhousie Client-centred, occupation-based health care has rather than simply the absence of University in Halifax, Nova been the implicit if not explicit theoretical founda- disease (Perrin & Wittman, 2001). Scotia. tion for remedial occupational therapy for many years Community-based occupational (Townsend & Polatajko, 2007). Occupational therapists therapy aims to remediate the impact of everyday life have a role in primary health care by focusing on the changes in a client’s community, including changes occupational needs of populations, and on enabling oc- within the multiple systems of clients: psychological, cupational performance and engagement as a means emotional, physical and social, by using occupations of preventing injury and promoting
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