On the occasion of the World Occupational Therapy Day (Ergotherapy), get acquainted with this specialization at the Faculty of Public Health
What is Ergotherapy?
Occupational therapy, or Ergotherapy, is a distinguished specialization at the Faculty of Public Health. The curriculum is both theoretical and practical, in addition to field training in a number of centers and hospitals.
The Department of Ergotherapy was established in the Faculty of Public Health (Branch 1) in 1997, as the first to introduce this major in Lebanon.
Ergotherapy is a therapeutic intervention that aims to enable a person to use their functional abilities to carry out their daily activities and perform their life roles. It also aims to enhance their social participation as safely and independently as possible.
Who is the Ergotherapist?
The Ergotherapist is a specialist working in the field of public health who adopts a treatment intervention plan based on a careful assessment of the person's capabilities, needs, life functions and the surrounding environment, taking into account the person's lifestyle, interests and recreational activities, with the aim of overcoming obstacles that limit the independent exercise of his daily activities. Such plan is implemented by:
·Assisting the person in maintaining their residual capabilities and / or restoring the capabilities necessary to carry out these activities;
·Provide the person with auxiliary tools and prosthetic devices, if necessary;
·Adapting the surrounding environment to suit the person's needs.
What are the objectives of Ergotherapy?
·Promote people's independence;
·Enable people to have a satisfying and decent quality of life;
·Facilitate people's involvement in social life and enhance their participation in an environment that meets their needs and is compatible with their capabilities;
·Promote societal integration by adapting the engineering, cultural and organizational environment to suit the needs of all individuals, including people who suffer from difficulties and disorders at the motor, intellectual, psychological and social levels.
How is the Ergotherapist involved?
·Examining and evaluating capacity
·Developing a treatment plan
·Implementing, re-evaluating and following up the plan
Who are the groups involved in Ergotherapy?
The groups concerned with Ergotherapy include people of all ages (children, adults, and the elderly) who have a reduced ability to independently carry out their daily activities and life functions due to temporary, permanent / partial or complete illness or injury, or because the surrounding environment is not adapted to their own individual factors, thus creating obstacles that limit their participation and independence, as is the case with people with special needs.
The Ergotherapist also addresses all community groups, including governments, schools, organizations, companies, the local community and others within the framework of community-based rehabilitation, providing specialized technical and rehabilitation consultations, awareness, training and adaptation services necessary to promote equal opportunities and community integration.
The groups involved are cerebral palsy in children, autism spectrum disorder, learning difficulties, delays in mental development, delays in sensory and motor development, Down syndrome, hyperactivity and distraction, paraplegia resulting from strokes, brain injuries, mental illnesses, and aging-associated diseases, such as Parkinson, Alzheimer and others.
An occupational therapist can work in / with:
·Hospitals and mental health centers
·Specialized offices / programs for engineering equipping and adapting of surroundings and assistive technology tools