Occupational Therapy in Oncology

These tasks are commonly called activities of daily living (ADL) (Taylor &amp. Currow, 2003).
Mailoo, Williams and Bridges (2004) have stated that the original principles of occupational therapy were propped up by researches on psychoneuroimmunology. Their study points that psychoneuroimmunology can add evidences for the application of occupational therapy in oncology.
A person can benefit from occupational therapy intervention regardless of the stage of his illness and his or her life expectancy (Vockins, 2004). Occupational therapy can be initiated from primary diagnosis until the illness is already terminated (Penfold, 1996). A cancer treatment team’s organization varies depending on the type of cancer (Hacker, 1998). Tattersall (1999) described the team as composed of the surgeon, medical oncologist together with other clinicians and other practitioners such as the occupational therapist. …
One concrete example is the use of custom made devices to assist in the proper functioning of the patient and to protect certain body parts (Penfold, 1996). This enables the individual to continue normal functioning in different activities. Specific devices were also named as tailored scrotal support, paediatric chest guard, and four-quarter amputation prosthesis (Diaz &amp. Levy, 2005). These devices were designed for cancer patients who have difficulty in those specific parts of their body which decreased in mobility and function due to different cancer treatments and the cancer itself. As the name suggests it, the tailored scrotal support is suited for male patients with lymphoedematous genitals and lower extremities. The paediatric chest guard is for children who have had surgery in the pectoral region. This device is also for protection during different activities. The four-quarter amputation prosthesis is for cancer patients whose parts of the upper extremities have been amputated. This device changes the physical appearance of the patient (Diaz &amp. Levy, 2005).
A study has shown that a large proportion of time spent by occupational therapists is focused on activities which are indirect and are not patient-related (Cooper and Littlechild, 2004). However, these activities were reflective of the nature of the particular patient group. Vockins’ study also proved the large amount of time used on supervision, reports and connections verifies the importance of occupational therapists’ written and verbal communication within the multidisciplinary team and with community personnel. Cooper and Littlechild (2004) also describe the senior status of occupational therapists dedicated to oncology and palliative care.
Occupational therapists can be of