Contributed by: Dr. Dorothy Kessler
Assistant Professor, Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy
As part of a research project funded by the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists, I am pleased to be working with an interdisciplinary team of therapists who provide Community Stroke Rehabilitation in the Champlain LHIN. This project involves training the therapists in Occupational Performance Coaching (OPC) and then supporting them to use it in therapy with people who are receiving community rehabilitation following a stroke.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in Canada, affecting a person’s ability to re-engage in activities that are important and valued. Despite rehabilitation, many stroke survivors report problems occupying their time in meaningful ways.
OPC is an approach to enhance a stroke survivor’s confidence and skills for ongoing self-management focused on engagement in valued activities. OPC aims to address stroke survivors’ needs for emotional support, individualized education, and control or self-efficacy through a collaborative process of goal setting and problem solving to attain self-identified goals.
On November 12th and 13th, twenty therapists and other team members from the Champlain LHIN Home and Community Care Program took part in the one-day OPC training workshop and discussed strategies to integrate OPC into their practice. Next steps will be to provide bi-weekly support to therapists who have decided to use OPC to assist them to develop their skills and find solutions to practice barriers. We will also recruit stroke survivors who have received OPC as part of their community stroke rehabilitation to measure its potential impact and get their feedback on this approach to service delivery.
It is pleasure to lead this collaboration between the Champlain LHIN, and members of the research team: Catherine Donnelly (Co-Investigator) and Melanie Nguyen (Research Assistant and recent graduate from the Queen’s Occupational Therapy program).