Questions I have been asked since my study visit to learn about the Lifestyle Redesign® occupational therapy approach. I wanted to investigate how it could be used to improve the hospital/home interface for older people.
Q- So what is the difference between Lifestyle Redesign® and Occupational Therapy?
A- I heard several different OTs, lecturers, researchers and clinicians give their view on this during my visit- “Lifestyle Redesign® is occupational therapy!”
Q- Why the trademark?
A- The Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at University of Southern California (USC) developed the approach. Only OTs who have completed certification at USC can use interventions called Lifestyle Redesign®. The Division wanted to protect the quality of any research (and therefore evidence base) that used an approach calling itself Lifestyle Redesign®. The methodology has been widely publicised and use of it its welcomed, however programmes need to be entitled something different e.g. the Lifestyle Matters programme developed in the UK (Craig & Mountain 2007- see books tab at top of page).
Q- But how are things like weight management groups relevant to OTs working in hospital settings? Most OTs don’t work in that sort of way?
A- While I was on my study visit I experienced the approach being used in many different settings and with many very different client groups. This demonstrates it’s versatility and adaptability to many different areas of work. Lifestyle Redesign® is a conceptual approach that can be used to develop programmes for individuals or groups, but it is not an instruction manual. There are complex issues to be understood and incorporated into interventions.
The approach takes an occupational view of individuals functioning and emphasises the health promoting aspect of redesigning an individuals occupations in a way that is meaningful for them.
Preventative work is an area where OT has a lot to offer (see my P post yesterday) and is a key area of current UK health care policy.
Q- But we haven’t got time to do this sort of thing!
A- This approach provides a person centred, evidence based, health promoting approach using core OT skills. If used with older people at the hospital/home interface, it has the potential to improve outcomes and reduce readmission rates, thereby reducing costs. Changing practice is always difficult, especially in fast moving acute services, but we need to consider the old question of whether we are ‘doing the job right- or doing the right job’!