Jul 5 / Katy Schmidt, OTD, OTR/L

Addressing Health Management in Occupational Therapy

photo of Leah Muntges

Welcome to guest blogger:

Katy Schmidt, OTD, OTR/L

image: of a woman's eye, the eye is green, skin is light, eyebrows and hair are brown.  There is a finger without nail polish pointing to the eye
Aspire OT is always excited to celebrate OTs, OTAs, and students who make an impact.  Katy Schmidt, OTD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, assistant professor, researcher, advocate and Aspire OT instructor who is passionate about serving individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders and chronic pain. 
As an occupational therapist who has worked in schools, jails, and psychiatric hospitals, I prioritize building rapport with each client. As trust develops, clients may feel comfortable enough to divulge their engagement in risky behaviors, such as substance use, high-risk sexual activity, gambling, illegal activities, or self-injury. As an occupational therapist, I seek to first recognize these risky behaviors as occupations that hold meaning and purpose to the client, then to promote the client’s health management. 

When the fourth edition of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework was released, I was pleased to learn that health management was added to our domain as an area of occupation. I address health management with most of my clients, aiming to improve their participation in occupations such as physical activity, nutrition management, medication management, and symptom management. These activities can hold inherent value to an individual. Additionally, these activities can improve a client’s ability to participate in other occupations. For example, if an individual with schizophrenia mitigates their symptoms through physical activity, nutrition, medication, and coping strategies, they will likely be able to engage in other daily occupations more meaningfully and consistently. 

Whether addressing risky behaviors or promoting healthy activities, occupational therapy practitioners have a unique opportunity to improve our clients’ health management. However, human behavior is a very tricky thing and it does not change easily. We cannot simply tell our clients, “You need to stop drinking and start exercising.” They likely already know this and have heard it a million times. Instead, we must utilize our holistic knowledge of the client and their values, environment, and occupations to enhance their intrinsic motivation to change their behaviors, using strategies such as motivational interviewing. Through a collaborative partnership, we can empower our clients to initiate long-lasting, meaningful behavioral change for improved health. 
check out Katy's Upcoming Webinar

Motivational Interviewing for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

Self-paced course coming soon in October!
Check our Webinars and Workshops Page for more scheduled dates. 
Wooden fence rail with word "Together" carved into it

Aspire OT is a different kind of CEU company, owned by an OT & OTA. 

photo of diverse women and men with arms crossed and smiling
Created by OT practitioners JUST for  OT practitioners, our occupational therapy continuing education CEU courses allow you to advance your skills and help your clients.

Choosing Aspire OT for your CEU needs means you are supporting other OT and OTA instructors as well as our partner occupational therapy state associations.  

Aspire OT was created to provide exceptional evidence-based CEs at reasonable prices designed to meet the needs of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in everyday practice.
check it out

All Access Subscription

Earn up to 19 CE hours, 24 PDUs
Self-paced and monthly webinars
AOTA Approved
desk with an open journal and pen sitting on top if, above it on desk an open laptop, on right side of laptop and book a cutting board with cup and a tea diffuser

Related Occupational Therapy Courses

Want more?

Our CEU courses will provide you with practical strategies you can take straight to your OT practice. 

Don't Miss A Thing!

Follow us on social media to stay up to date on all of our latest postings.

Join our newsletter

Get weekly updates on new blog posts, webinars, on-demand courses and more right in your mailbox.
Thank you!
Write your awesome label here.

Need a mentor?
Niccole and Kim would love to support you in your OT journey!

Just for OT Coaching is here to help you!  Let Kim and Niccole share their experiences in clinical practice and professional leadership to help you achieve better outcomes.