OTs Use Computers as Therapy

With today's society so dependent on computers to manage everyday life, it's no wonder that occupational therapists are looking to computers to help patients regain mobility.

Occupational therapists are currently using a computer program to help patients with stroke relearn physical motions necessarily to use the toilet. In addition, they are employing computerized card, hunting and fishing games to help people regain skills to perform daily tasks.

"We're breaking down the functional task into components and utilizing the same tasks while the client is playing a game or doing an activity," explains Douglas Rakoski, MA, OTR/L, ATP, with the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. "To perform toilet hygiene, the client has to be able to internally rotate and reach behind. We brought up a card game on the computer that the client liked, where he touched the screen to move the cursor, but to do a left click, we took a switch and we safety pinned it to the back of his pants. So he's doing the same motion, but he's doing a high number of repetitions so he can practice the movement to be able to reach."

Find out more about occupational therapy here.