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ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners is thrilled to welcome you to OT Blogs, part of the Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our new blogs offer posts covering timely questions, advice and opinions about the occupational therapy field. Please take a moment to read our bloggers' bios to learn more about each of them. We have provided tags to assist in locating topics of interest. And feel free to use the comment area after each blog entry to interact with our bloggers. We look forward to hearing more about the occupational therapy field from your Point of View (POV).
January 26, 2017 12:30 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

My 50-year-old friend, Sam, called. His back and knees are hurting because he has been carrying his beloved pooch up and down flights of stairs since the elevator to his sixth floor New York apartment has recently been out of service.

But he is more concerned about his ailing 60 pound basset hound, Jamal. Jamal is nearly 13 years old and has problems with his hips - not unusual in that breed of dog. Because ...

January 20, 2017 12:15 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

It's now been 3.5 weeks since I fell on my icy driveway getting into a friend's car to go swimming, fracturing my left wrist; I'm left handed. Typically I'm a very active person in terms of exercise, including walking, biking, swimming and racket sports. I also am a doer, someone who gets out with friends to the symphony and numerous local events. And as a semi-retired person, I spend a fair amount of time serving others ...

January 9, 2017 11:22 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

Last year I did something I never imagined I'd do. I bought a condo and sold my house. In 1978 with a newborn and a two year old, we bought a three-story home near the heart of downtown in our college town that had been built in 1907. I had so many wonderful memories of raising children there, the garden, the wood-burning stove, and the chance to use my creativity to problem-solve each time I wanted to repair or renovate, ...

January 5, 2017 11:06 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

Careful as I typically am, icy conditions recently got the best of me. I slipped and fell, causing me to break my left wrist; and I am left-handed. These few weeks since my injury have given me an increased appreciation for the challenges of daily life that our patients face, many for the remainder of their lives. Simple tasks like taking a bath become an evening's event, with each step deliberately thought out and planned. ...

November 23, 2016 1:59 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Research continues to support the value -- both in patient outcomes and healthcare costs -- of providing occupational therapy services to specific patient groups.

An independent study published in September in Medical Care Research and Review found that "occupational therapy is the only spending category where additional hospital spending has a statistically significant association with lower re-admission ...

November 10, 2016 11:01 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

I am feeling very distraught today, and not just because my candidate lost. The undeniable division we all knew existed on some level can no longer be denied. It's right there for all to see and, more importantly, feel.

The late Debbie Ford coined the term "the beach ball effect." When we try to hold a beach ball underwater, it pops right up - the same is true for any emotion we try to hide. Regardless of ...

September 23, 2016 2:49 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

Today was my Level II students last day. She did a wonderful job growing both personally and professionally, and we enjoyed countless meaningful conversations throughout her fieldwork. We had one final chat today that I will always remember. I was pleased and inspired for two reasons. First, she communicated a deeper understanding of the most essential piece of the puzzle. Secondly, I discovered a clearer more effective ...

July 18, 2016 11:43 AM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

As the world struggles to make sense of a seemingly endless onslaught of mass shootings and violent attacks at home and abroad, healthcare workers galvanize to save lives.

"You can do drills, you can have manuals, but no hospital is ever ready for that," Wade Fox, DO, FACEP, FAAEM, regional director of CEP America, told ADVANCE. Fox headed the emergency department at Mercy Hospital in Roseburg, ...

July 6, 2016 9:45 AM by Katherine Bortz of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Break out the mixer and get to kneading: Baking has been shown to ease mental health symptoms.

Baking and mental health was considered a part of treatment plans after a 2004 study published by The British Journal of Occupational Therapy came to light. More information in recent ...

June 30, 2016 11:09 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

I recently worked with a super nice guy who had sustained a mild TBI from a work-related injury. He was (admittedly) a stereotypical "construction guy," meaning not someone to care about his feelings, let alone talk about them, on a regular basis.

But all of that changed shortly after being exposed to the importance of becoming more self-aware. It didn't happen right away. In fact, he was initially skeptical ...

June 22, 2016 1:26 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Editor's Note: This blog was guest-authored by Mayte Lucia Gomez Sosa, MSOT, OTR/L, COTA/L, CLT

Dehydration among our geriatric patients is a real and growing problem, and quite common in skilled nursing and acute rehabilitation centers. Many seniors are on diuretics medication, diet and fluids are often restricted by physician orders, and many older residents limit their fluid intake to avoid burdensome ...

May 23, 2016 1:30 PM by Katherine Bortz of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

A key component for any child's development is play. For some, play can be difficult due to disability. That's why Dr. Cole Galloway, a professor at the University of Delaware created GoBabyGo!, a fun and inventive way to get kids moving.

"I have lots of kids who aren't invited to birthday parties ever," Galloway said on the GoBabyGo! ...

May 9, 2016 12:26 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Some would say it was a matter of inevitability. Others will hail its arrival as a much-needed shift away from pay-per-procedure and toward pay-for-quality.

On April 1, 2016, CMS began the testing phase of its Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, a new payment structure for episodes of care related to total knee and total hip replacements under Medicare.

According to CMS, Medicare beneficiaries ...

April 13, 2016 8:39 AM by Katherine Bortz of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

"The Impact of Yoga on Activity Patterns of Individuals with Sedentary Occupations" was presented by Erin Phillips, OTD, OTR/L, CYT, and Calista Crouthamel MOTS, RYT, on Saturday morning. The short course was designed to help occupational therapists understand the role of yoga and mindfulness in the ...

April 12, 2016 1:33 PM by Katherine Bortz of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

A new addition to the 2016 Annual AOTA Conference and Expo is the inclusion of scientific panels. In these sessions, research papers are presented on the multiple areas of expertise that OTs cover. Sarah Schoen, associate director of Research the STAR Institute, was one of many researchers who presented at this year's ...

April 11, 2016 1:53 PM by Dillon Stickle of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

This blog post was written by Kate Bortz, editorial assistant at ADVANCE and the on-site correspondent for AOTA 2016. 

The AOTA Annual Conference and Expo officially kicked of on Thursday night with a welcome address from AOTA President Ginny Stoffel. This address, which consisted of updates from AOTA, achievements earned by practitioners and students as well as occupational therapy's prominence ...

April 9, 2016 11:17 AM by Katherine Bortz of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

CHICAGO -- Virginia (Ginny) Stoffel gave her Farewell Presidential Address on Friday afternoon at the 2016 Annual AOTA Conference and Expo. The theme of her address, "Coming Home to Family: Now is the Time!," focused on how occupational therapy practitioners are a family and how AOTA is their home. She stressed how connected occupational therapists feel with each other ...

April 8, 2016 11:51 AM by Dillon Stickle of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

This blog was written by Kate Bortz, editorial assistant at ADVANCE and the on-site correspondent for AOTA 2016.

CHICAGO -- While occupational therapists deal with the many day-to-day functions of their patients, Kathryn Ellis, MOT, and Michelle Nordstrom, MOT, from the Walter Reed National Medical Center noted an area that hadn't been fully addressed. Ellis, alongside Caitlin Dennison, MOT, published ...

March 23, 2016 7:40 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

A client recently took my advice and watched The Shadow Effect. It would be an understatement to say it impacted her. ­­­­­

She said, "It blew my mind. This might sound strange, but I felt a shift in energy."

It maes perfect sense, and here is why: the documentary includes many empowering metaphors, but my favorite is the Beach Ball Effect. What happens when we try to hold ...

March 11, 2016 11:26 AM by Brian Ferrie of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has issued a press release announcing that an estimated 10,000 occupational therapy clinicians, educators, and students will gather in Chicago to attend the organization's 96th Annual Conference & Expo from April 7-10. ...

March 3, 2016 2:45 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

On more than one occasion, I have been driving around town on a Saturday morning doing miscellaneous errands and felt compelled to stop to check out some local health and wellness fair. There are several of these fairs each year around here; it seems that various different groups sponsor the fairs, such as the Disability Expo that is held annually for the past decade each fall at a mall or some other venue. These ...

February 22, 2016 1:56 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

Growing up in Chicago and its north suburban areas in the 1950s and 60s, I have absolutely no recollection of ever seeing anyone in person, in television, or in movies who had a disability. In a way, it's ironic that I ended up choosing a career as an occupational therapist which involved helping people who have disabilities, both visible and not.

The first real person I ever saw in a wheelchair was at dinner ...


In case you haven't noticed, I've been lagging behind in the blog, lately. Most of this has to do with personal issues - with my mother's ongoing battle with cancer, and my grandmother's failing health, I haven't had very much in the way of "free time" to focus on writing. As such, I still have a lot of stories to tell - about past holidays and fun adventures - but today I want to focus on this week, and A.'s most recent ...

February 17, 2016 1:52 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Rehab robotics is all over the news these days. In just the past few months, research labs across the globe have announced major engineering breakthroughs designed to assist those with movement impairments to recapture their independence.

Scientists at the University of Melbourne in Australia announced the development of a matchstick-sized brain implant that, when inserted next to the motor cortex, can allow ...

February 17, 2016 12:16 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

One of my relatives, who is in his eighties, shared with me that though he is in excellent health, he was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis. He now uses a walker at times to keep him steady on his feet, but he does have a sense of relief that at least now he has a medical explanation for the frequent pain in his lower back, hip and leg. He feels unsteady sometimes and is very fearful of falling, as he should ...



The ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners editorial staff will discuss issues in the occupational therapy profession, current events in healthcare and offer their personal views and tips for your enjoyment.

The Pediatric Perspective blog is a place to come to learn of new and existing strategies for anyone working in Pediatrics or anyone who has a young loved one with occupational therapy needs.  Join Wendy as she shares these strategies along with the struggles and triumphs of being a mom and therapist navigating the Special Education world with her son.

The mother of an autistic girl shares her story about her daughter's sensory issues, the various treatments she has received, and how "living on the spectrum" affects everyday life for her family.

Tim Banish, Sr., COTA, Retired will share his thoughts on important issues such as COTA salaries, productivity requirements, and the current changes in healthcare. My main focus will be issues older Americans are facing and long term care.

Dan Eisner is a psychiatric OT in the department of psychiatry at the University of MD Medical Center and a private certified coach at with over 15 years experience. Dan has been inspiring thousands of people with his unique blend of services which includes a basic understanding of mind-body science, emotional intelligence, and practical spirituality.

Iris Kimberg MS PT, OTR,  CEO of NYTherapyGuide, will keep therapists current on issues, trends and opportunities in the private sector.

Occupational therapy has changed a lot over the past four decades, and it continues to evolve. Follow Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L as she shares the wisdom that comes with being a seasoned occupational therapist.