An online learning module about obesity and bariatric care for occupational therapy practitioners and students
Phillips, Jennifer Theresa
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Due to the rising rates of obesity present in the United States, occupational therapy practitioners will likely be seeing this population more frequently in a variety of health care settings. A thorough search of the evidence literature identified that occupational therapy practitioners were found to be lacking education on the topics of obesity and bariatric care and how to effectively assist this population. Furthermore, occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant academic curriculums were found to be lacking education in the areas of safe patient handling with the obese population. Clients who are obese also expressed dissatisfaction with the health care that they have been receiving due to the identified barriers. Through an online educational program, called Bariatrics, obesity, and occupational therapy: How can we help? (BOOTH) the following topics will be integrated through a case study approach for occupational therapy practitioners and occupational therapy students: 1. general knowledge on the topics of obesity, 2. common co-morbidities, 3. bariatric equipment, 4. safe patient handling recommendations, 5. obesity related stigma, and 6. techniques for occupational therapy evaluation and intervention. Through completion of the online obesity and bariatric care education modules, students and practitioners will have heightened knowledge of how to safely assist this population to optimize client independence and reduce work related injuries. In doing so, occupational therapy will be identified as a vital resource for clients who are obese in health care settings, telehealth, and primary care.