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How Can Civilian Providers Assess Whether a Patient Needs Occupational Therapy?

How Can Civilian Providers Assess Whether a Patient Needs Occupational Therapy?


How can civilian providers assess whether a patient needs occupational therapy?

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[Dr. Kristen Maisano] So in the civilian world, it's not as black and white as it is set up in many of the military's traumatic brain injury clinics. So you may get a person who is receiving traumatic brain injury care in the military system that we don't have a structured—maybe civilian—TBI clinic that has the same roles that a discipline does. So what we want to do as civilian providers is break it down a little bit and look at what the deficit areas are, and then look to see who can cover those deficit areas. So for example, in the military system occupational therapy does a lot of vision re-education post-mild traumatic brain injury. So a civilian primary care physician or a civilian doc can then say, "Who in my community does vision therapy?" Or a service member has trouble with sleep, "Who in my community does sleep hygiene education or CBT for insomnia?" And then kind of divvy out the responsibilities from there if you don't have a cohesive traumatic brain injury team in the civilian world. I like to look at it at the deficit areas and then assign them to who they need to see and then I think we still have that holistic care. It might not all be in the same clinic, but then we still have the provider or the MD looking over and saying all of the needs of the service member are met.

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Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine.

Kristen Maisano, OTDKristen Maisano, OTD is an occupational therapist and the interim director of Rehabilitation Services for the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. She specializes in evaluating and treating military patients with traumatic brain injuries.

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