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Global Evidence on Anxiety Disorder Occupational Therapy Interventions

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Global Evidence on Anxiety Disorder Occupational Therapy Interventions

Occupational therapy can assist those living with anxiety disorder in relieving their symptoms and finding relief. They teach individuals ways to relax both body and mind, recognize triggers for attacks, and develop healthy coping mechanisms they can use on their own. Furthermore, occupational therapists offer valuable skillsets as well as opportunities to participate in satisfying activities that provide satisfaction, reward, and fulfillment.

Anxiety is a common emotion, yet it can have debilitating consequences if not addressed. Depending on the type of anxiety, it could affect someone’s health, social life, work and relationships in profound ways. That is why getting help as soon as possible if you feel unwell or are thinking of taking your own life is so important – particularly if there are signs that someone may attempt suicide.

In a clinical practice setting, occupational therapists work with patients suffering from anxiety disorders to increase their engagement in daily tasks. They may also incorporate mental health techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) into the session to promote emotional regulation and alter behaviors that trigger anxiety.

Though limited, research on the effectiveness of mental health occupational therapy exists. Most studies were single-subject case descriptions that failed to assess whether there was any improvement in quality of life or functioning for individuals with anxiety disorders. This review will attempt to fill this void in the literature by reviewing existing global evidence related to anxiety disorder occupational therapy interventions.

This review seeks to uncover the current global evidence on occupational therapy interventions that have been reported to improve mental health and functioning for adults with anxiety disorders. It will also consider the implications of these findings for future practice and research in this area.

What characteristics have been observed globally among occupational therapy interventions for adults struggling with anxiety?

Occupational therapy interventions are tailored, task-related strategies used by occupational therapists to assist patients in recovering from anxiety. This involves addressing physical, sensory, psychological and social aspects of anxiety disorders.

Some of these strategies include relaxation and breathing exercises, abstaining from triggering substances like alcohol and caffeine, and eating a nutritious diet. Occupational therapists can also encourage patients to participate in exercise and social activities.

This review sought to assess whether occupational therapy interventions improved mental health and functioning for community-dwelling adults with an anxiety disorder. Measures used were largely self-reported, but may have also included mood, engagement in daily activities, and participation in vocational training.

This review examined whether interventions could be evaluated using outcome measures such as surveys or client reports of improvement. The findings can be useful for practice and future research, with authors suggesting that one major takeaway was discovering new trends in research – including reproducibility of some interventions and potential future research on specific populations.

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