Occupational Therapy: Occupation-Based Intervention as an Integrative Tool: Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for Address

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About the Author

Sally Wasmuth, PhD, MA, OTR, received her PhD in critical and philosophical studies of biology from the University of Exeter in 2012. She has also received a master of arts degree in philosophy of biology (2007) and a master of science degree in occupational therapy (2011), and completed a 2-year postdoctoral training at the Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Wasmuth has been conducting research on the neurobiology of addiction and the bidirectional relationships between addiction and human occupation since 2006, and has published several papers on the subject in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, the American, British, and Canadian Journals of Occupational Therapy, and the Journal of Occupational Science. She has coauthored papers on mental health employee burnout and integrated dual disorder treatment (IDDT) implementation and has been the principle or co-investigator on several related grants. Dr. Wasmuth has published her own theoretical model of addiction and piloted an occupation-based treatment approach to facilitate community engagement in people recovering from addiction, which is now being examined via a controlled, comparison trial. She is also the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) ambassador for the state of Indiana’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) planning grant. Dr. Wasmuth has taught mental health to doctoral- and masters-level occupational therapy students since 2013 and has been an invited guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Southern California and Indiana University. She was recently the invited plenary speaker at the International Institute on the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO), where she discussed the concept of addiction-as-occupation.

Peer reviewer: Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L began her career as an occupational therapist in the research study The USC Well Elderly Study II: Health Mediating Effects of the Well Elderly Program. She completed her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy at the University of Southern California in 2008, focusing on the development of the program Lifestyle Redesign® for the College Student. She then moved from Los Angeles to Ireland, to teach mental health occupational therapy at University College Cork, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy from 2012 to 2016. She commenced her position at Dominican University of California in fall 2016, teaching psychosocial aspects of occupation. Her clinical experience is in the areas of mental health, Lifestyle Redesign, life coaching, dating coaching, older adults, multiple sclerosis, college student wellness, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Her research interests include mental health and occupational science.

Occupational Therapy Planner: Jessica J. Bolduc, DrOT, MSOTR/LThe contributors to this course have no conflicts of interest relative to its content.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the prevalence of addiction and its impact on communities and individuals’ occupational lives and overall wellness, and list risk factors for addiction and mental illness.
  • Identify two neurological systems associated with addiction and their roles in overall function, as well as how changes in these systems and genetic influences manifest as symptoms of addiction and mental illness.
  • Distinguish effective occupation-based interventions for treating substance use disorders and mental illness, and identify associated occupation-based theories/models.
  • Define “readiness to change,” list appropriate assessment tools to determine readiness to change, and differentiate and describe appropriate evidence-based interventions for each stage.
  • Describe reasons for the adoption of Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) as evidence-based practice in mental health care and list at least five components of this approach.

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