Research Article
Issue Date: November/December 2016
Published Online: October 10, 2016
Updated: April 30, 2020
The Prepared Mind
Author Affiliations
  • Susan L. Garber, MA, OTR, FAOTA, FACRM, is Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX;
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Home Accessibility/Environmental Modification / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Spinal Cord Injury / Wound Management / Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture
Research Article   |   October 10, 2016
The Prepared Mind
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2016, Vol. 70, 7006150010.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2016, Vol. 70, 7006150010.

Every day, in clinics and hospitals around the world, occupational therapists care for patients with serious problems requiring viable solutions. Each patient is unique, and his or her problem does not necessarily correspond to existing practice models. Practitioners must adapt standard approaches to provide effective outcomes, yet problems exist for which few or no beneficial approaches have been identified. Such clinical issues require solutions to be generated de novo from the practitioner’s body of knowledge and past experience. Yet, no single new intervention can be used without prior validation of its efficacy. Only a therapist with a prepared mind can accept such challenges, recognize what is known and not yet known, design studies to acquire that needed knowledge, and translate it into successful clinical treatment strategies. The occupational therapist with a prepared mind is one willing to seize unexpected opportunities and construct new paradigms of practice. Innovation through scientific inquiry requires a prepared mind.