Needs Assessment in Occupational Therapy : Studies of Persons with Long-Term/Recurrent Pain

Abstract: The overall aim of this thesis was to describe (1) needs for occupational therapy among persons with self-perceived activity limitations and/or participation restrictions due to long-term/recurrent pain, and (2) treatment interventions in occupational therapy to meet demonstrated needs. The Liss’ model for assessing health care needs was used as a structural scheme. A randomly selected sample (n=10,000) from the Swedish general population aged 18-58 years was the foundation for the study population with and without pain. In addition, occupational therapists were included (n=109). Data collection was made by postal questionnaires. The results showed a prevalence of 26 % and an incidence rate of 0.07. Demographic characteristics of the sample were female gender, ages 40-58 years and fewer years of education than those without pain. Pain in shoulders/lower back of searing/aching/gnawing character was the most frequently reported. A majority of the respondents reported affective/emo-tional effects of pain mainly of depressive character and they had previously been on sick leave due to pain. Women reported higher frequencies of self-perceived activity limitations/ participation restrictions due to pain, more difficulties with intermediate ADL, perceived higher job demands and had longer sick leave than men. Men perceived poorer social support than did women. Needs for occupational therapy were reported mainly as a consequence of activity and temporal imbalance. High health care consumers reported higher frequencies of needs/problems than did low health care consumers. The main goals and interventions suggested by occupational therapists to meet the needs in pain management focused on increased knowledge of handling daily occupations with the purpose to reduce pain, maintain competence/improve performance of home maintenance, reduce consequences of pain and increase knowledge how to handle effects of pain.