Other
Issue Date: September/October 2020
Published Online: July 29, 2020
Updated: August 12, 2020
A Need to Activate Lasting Engagement
Author Affiliations
  • Rachelle Brick, MSOT, OTR/L, is PhD Candidate, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; rsb50@pitt.edu
  • Kathleen Doyle Lyons, ScD, OTR/L, is Scientist, Department of Psychiatry Research, Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.
  • Juleen Rodakowski, OTD, MS, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Elizabeth Skidmore, PhD, OTR/L, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Health and Wellness / Education of OTs and OTAs / Mental Health / Neurologic Conditions / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Stroke / Columns: The Issue Is . . .
Other   |   July 29, 2020
A Need to Activate Lasting Engagement
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2020, Vol. 74, 7405347010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.039339
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2020, Vol. 74, 7405347010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.039339
Abstract

Occupational therapy practitioners provide interventions to promote activity engagement to multiple clinical populations. They help clients develop restorative, adaptive, and compensatory skills to improve their performance in daily activities. The issue addressed in this article is that current clinical frameworks lack translation of learned skills to consistent everyday performance. There is a gap between what clients can do and what clients actually do in everyday life. Behavioral activation provides an explicit, structured, and practical approach that can translate capacity into long-term engagement. This article presents behavioral activation as a transdiagnostic approach that targets populations experiencing chronic illness to bridge the gap between what the client can do in therapy and what the client could do in everyday life.

What This Article Adds: People with chronic illness have difficulty translating the skills learned in traditional practice settings to everyday life. Behavioral activation offers occupational therapy practitioners a practical structure to promote the translation of learned skills.