Maureenis a college student who is 23 years of age who is diagnosed withpositive symptoms of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms ofschizophrenia consist of hallucinations, delusions and perceptualdistortions affecting the clients overall occupational performance(Andonian& MacRae, 2013).She was diagnosed with six years ago and managed with medication.However, in her attempt to finish college, Maureen stopped taking hermedication resulting in her roommate bringing her to the EmergencyPsychiatric Services at the county hospital. Maureen entered thehospital in an irrational agitated state, hearing voices for the lastseveral days telling her to kill herself and expressing “They aretrying to kill me.” Due to Maureen frequently hearing voices, shewas having severe functional limitations in school, sleep and herdaily activities. The hospital decided Maureen was danger to herselfand sent her to the acute inpatient locked down facility (Andonian& MacRae, 2013).
Maureenwould benefit from occupational therapy services to help manage hermedication. According to the American Occupational TherapyAssociation, occupational therapist working with individuals who arediagnosed with behavioral health conditions to focus on theindividual’s routines, medication adherence, self-management andstress management strategies (AOTA, 2013). In this particular caseMaureen would benefit from medication management techniques to avoidthe agitated state of hearing voices. Also since Maureen is a collegestudent finishing school she would benefit from stress management.
Thetypical mental health OT client would present with social andoccupational impairments. The patient would also have few periods ofrecovery due to reduced capacity for vocational functioning (Strauss,Harrow, Grossman, & Rosen, 2010). A client suffering fromnondeficit schizophrenia would manifest severe mood symptoms due tothe prominence of positive symptoms (Cohen, Brown, & Minor,2010). Additionally, disorganization symptoms would be commonplace.The typical patient would manifest delusions and perceptualdistortions such as hallucinations. Consequently, she wouldexperience frequent disturbances of her sleeping patterns. Besides,the client would hear voices that may cause them to become a dangerto themselves. Although the client could cultivate some interest in aparticular activity, sustaining such enthusiasm would proveimpossible (Cohen et al., 2010). Furthermore, a typical patient wouldbe unaware of their inability to maintain attention or concentrationon an activity.
Theclient would be customarily referred to an occupational therapist forevaluation since the range of positive symptoms varies with theindividual. Patients with positive symptoms experience lesscognitive benefits than clients with negative symptoms. Notably, theOT practitioner would have a significant role in the assessment ofsuch an individual since the positive symptoms ordinarily manifestthrough remissions and exacerbations (Strauss et al., 2010).Moreover, referral to an occupational therapist is necessary sincemany patients with positive respond well to antipsychotic medications(Andonian & MacRae, 2013). Subsequently, such clients couldcontrol or dampen major symptoms using prescribed medications. Inaddition, an occupational therapist possesses a competentunderstanding of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia such asdelusions and hallucinations (Andonian & MacRae, 2013).Consequently, they can focus on interventions such aspsychoeducation, expressive activities, and sensory modulation(Champagne, Koomar, & Olson, 2010).
AOTA.(2013). Occupational therapy’s role in home health. Retrieved onJuly 26, 2016 fromhttp://www.aota.org/~/media/Corporate/Files/AboutOT/Professionals/WhatIsOT/PA/Home-Health.pdf?la=en
Andonian,L. & MacRae, A. (2013). . In PsychosocialOccupational Therapy An Evolving Practice (Thirded., pp. 199-203). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Champagne,T., Koomar, J., & Olson, L. (2010). Sensory processing evaluationand intervention in mental health. OTPractice, 15(5),CE 1-8.
Cohen,A. S., Brown, L. A. & Minor, K. S. (2010). The psychiatricsymptomatology of deficit schizophrenia: A meta-analysis.Research, 118(1-3),122-127.
Strauss,G. P., Harrow, I., Grossman, I. S., & Rosen, C. (2010). Periodsof recovery in deficit syndrome schizophrenia: A 20-yearmulti-follow-up longitudinal study. Bulletin, 36(4),788-799.