Q&A With Jan Davis: Developing Dynamic Treatment Programs in Stroke Rehabilitation
By Stephanie Yamkovenko
Are you an occupational therapy practitioner working with clients with stroke? You can learn in-depth information about stroke rehabilitation from the leading experts at AOTA's Specialty Conference—Adults with Stroke and earn up to 13 contact hours. November 30 to December 1 in Baltimore, Maryland.
If you're an occupational therapy practitioner working in stroke rehabilitation, Jan Davis, MS, OTR/L, wants you to throw away the cones and start using "intervention with intention." Davis is presenting on dynamic treatment approaches in stroke rehabilitation at the upcoming 2012 AOTA Specialty Conference—Adults With Stroke. AOTA talked to Davis about how occupational therapy practitioners can strive for clinical excellence in stroke rehabilitation.
AOTA: Can you briefly describe dynamic treatment programs in stroke rehabilitation?
Davis: Dynamic treatment programs actively engage patients in every aspect of the treatment session. I call it "Intervention with Intention." OTs need to throw away their cones and inspire their patients with activities that are specifically chosen to address key problems and, at the same time, empower them with creative methods to improve their level of function.
AOTA: What do you think is the most overlooked area in stroke rehabilitation by occupational therapy practitioners?
Davis: The use of occupation-based activities. Occupational therapy practitioners must strive to excel in this area. Occupation-based practice is supported by evidence, required by third-party payers, and the keystone of our profession. It's not enough to just "use" activities—we must excel in the use of occupation in the treatment of stroke survivors.
AOTA: Who should be interested in developing exceptional skills in stroke rehabilitation?
Davis: Each and every person working with stroke survivors should strive for clinical excellence by developing exceptional skills related to the setting in which they are working. This includes an entire spectrum of settings from acute care and ICU to inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, skilled nursing, and home health.
AOTA: In your session at the specialty conference you will be using video and labs. How do these mixed teaching methods help participants learn new skills?
Davis: Video is a powerful teaching tool and is incredibly useful in helping practitioners learn to develop skills in observation, clinical reasoning, and clinical practice. During my sessions I'll be using videos of real patients and real therapists demonstrating clinical excellence in assessment and intervention methods with stroke survivors in a variety of settings.
AOTA: What do you want all occupational therapy practitioners to know about stroke rehabilitation?
Davis: There has never been a more exciting time for occupational therapy practitioners to lead the way in the treatment of stroke survivors. The latest cutting-edge research in neural plasticity (how the brain adapts and changes after a stroke) strongly indicates that treatment activities based on occupation are some of the best methods used to help the brain relearn the functions of movement, sensation, and cognition to improve participation in daily life.
AOTA: Why should occupational therapy practitioners attend the AOTA Specialty Conference—Adults With Stroke?
Davis: Attending the Stroke Specialty Conference is a great way for occupational therapy practitioners to learn about the latest research, develop clinical skills of excellence, and learn about the use of evidence-based practice from the leading occupational therapists in stroke recovery.
Get information about Davis's session and register for the 2012 AOTA Specialty Conference—Adults With Stroke here.
Stephanie Yamkovenko is AOTA's staff writer.