Evaluating the Personal Computer as a Treatment Activity in Occupational Therapy

19:52 EDT 31st March 2015 | BioPortfolio


This study will evaluate the use of the personal computer (PC) in occupational therapy. The results of the study will help occupational therapists develop improved treatment activities using PCs.

Patients enrolled in various NIH clinical trials who are referred for occupational therapy may be eligible for this study. Each patient will have at least four computer sessions within 6 months. They will use the PC to achieve goals they set for themselves-for example, to build work skills, improve concentration, or simply have fun. At the end of each session, the occupational therapist will interview the patient, asking, for example, about the goal of the session and what may have occurred during the session to make it more helpful or less helpful. The interviews will be tape recorded and used to help determine how computers may be used most therapeutically.


Occupational therapy approaches rehabilitation through the concept of "occupation", the component of human behavior regarding one's engagement in self-initiated, self-directed, adaptive, purposeful, culturally relevant, organized activity. Rehabilitation through occupation is a process, stemming from interactions among the three domains: (a) performance areas; (b) performance components; and (c) performance contexts. At the core of the occupational therapy is a sub-process created by patients and therapists through their actions and reactions to treatment. It is a significant sub-process because it sets into motion the use of occupation as therapy. It is believed that the appropriate, therapeutic use of occupation affects "performance" or how one functions.

There is a need to develop ways to articulate and measure complex therapeutic interventions themselves. This is especially true of those treatment approaches which integrate human relationships, collaborative problem-solving, and the targeted doing of unique, personally relevant occupations. Occupational therapy is a health profession characterized by such interventions. The capacity to delineate key process variables may lead to credible examination of process-outcome relationships. Ultimately, results from the proposed study may provide information needed to further establish patient outcomes from occupational therapy interventions.

Study Design



Occupational Therapy


Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center (CC)
United States




National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of any occupational or work activity for remedial purposes.

Skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. It assists in the development of skills needed for independent living.

Medical specialty concerned with the promotion and maintenance of the physical and mental health of employees in occupational settings.

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