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Earn your OT CEUs by listening for free to our episodes, then logging into the OT Potential Club to take a quiz and earn a certificate. In each episode, we discuss new OT-related research and invite an expert guest to pull out actionable takeaways. Perfect for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. Episodes are released every other week.
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The art and science of digital prosthetics is rapidly advancing. Yet, many people with amputated fingers do not wear a prosthetic. Part of the problem may be our own fault as health providers. We may be stuck in old stereotypes of poor outcomes and limited options related to digital prosthetics. In this one-hour podcast-base course, we’ll look at a…
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In previous courses, we’ve discussed that one of the primary ways we can improve our care, as OT professionals, is to increase the diversity of our workforce—with the ultimate goal of having our workforce’s diversity mirror the diversity of the populations we are seeing. This goal will ensure we have the multiple perspectives needed to respond to t…
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Through OT Potential, we’ve released over 70 episodes all exploring new influential OT research. As we enter 2024, it’s time to reflect on the research and ask: What trends are we seeing in OT? How is new research enriching how we think about our practice? In this 1 hour-episode, we’ll talk about new trends, with a particular focus on what commonal…
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Since this keynote address from the World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress was published in 2019, it has been cited so many times that it made our list of the 100 most-cited OT journal articles. It’s easy to see why this has become such a popular read. The article stitches occupational therapy together with global trends, in particular g…
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Dyslexia is the most common form of neurodivergence. It affects around 20% of the population, meaning that people with dyslexia are on almost every occupational therapy professional’s caseload. And yet, not enough OT-specific research and resources have been devoted to how we can help this population. Today, we look at a leading theory of dyslexia …
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For OT professionals working with adults with intellectual disabilities it can feel like there is a lack of resources around best practices for working with this population. Today’s article flips that long-held narrative on its head. The authors set out to find evidence to inform OT for adults with intellectual disability—and to their own surprise …
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Maternal deaths are on the rise, here in the United States. And, we have a postpartum mental health crisis. In OT 90% of us are women, and many of us have personally experienced the inadequate support given to birthing individuals. But, not enough of us have stepped back to ask: why aren’t we (with our training in mental health & daily participatio…
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I once heard a neuroscientist say: Many of our frameworks end up being wrong—because the body is more complicated than we ever imagined. Pain science perfectly illustrates this. We are living in an era where new frameworks are being written—because classical understandings of pain have not only been inadequate, they have led to ineffective and even…
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The main finding of this important research from JAMA is extremely promising for early intervention OT professionals. In the study, greater early intervention service intensity was associated with better functional gains. But, there’s a problem. Federal spending per child on early intervention services has declined over the past decade. And, in thi…
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The number of OT’s providing perinatal care is on the rise. Which is exciting…and necessary. There remain so many gaps in the care of new and expecting moms, among which is treating incontinence. As we’ll see in our featured journal article, a staggering percentage of women experience incontinence postnatally, despite the known effectiveness of pel…
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The OT treatment approaches that are gaining support from evidence, seem to have one common thread between them: The clients set their own goals. Today, we look at a pioneer of this client-centered process, The CO-OP Approach™. We’ll dive into a new research article where, yet again, we see CO-OP outperforming conventional therapy—this time for chi…
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The number of children diagnosed with ADHD has been steadily increasing. Now it is estimated that 1/10 children will be diagnosed with ADHD at some point. Even though about half of these children receive some type of behavioral treatment, there has been a lack of studies around OT-specific support for ADHDer children. In this one hour OT CEU course…
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Self-determination interventions are linked to positive academic and functional attainment results—and, most compellingly, can improve post-secondary outcomes. But what does it look like for OT professionals to foster self-determination in the school setting? In this one hour course, we’ll breakdown a scoping review that examines the Independence C…
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If you are an occupational therapy professional working with autistic people, you’ve likely heard of strengths-based practice (SBP). But, does this approach work? And, what are the benefits of it? In this one hour OT CEU course we will discuss a scoping review that explores these questions. As we’ll see, strengths-based interventions were related t…
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Where does OT fit in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) care? In this one hour course we’ll dive into a comprehensive guideline for psoriatic arthritis treatment, which recommends patients utilize a mix of non-pharmacological tools, like occupational therapy. This article will help you brush up on psoriatic arthritis, see OT within a holistic approach to ca…
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What does planetary health have to do with occupational therapy? The author’s of this week’s article argue that engagement with environmental sustainability is foundational for our profession. The authors aim to help OT students and professionals translate environmental awareness to practical action. They theorize 3 skills to do so: Clinical reason…
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Is AI going to replace occupational therapy? There’s no doubt that this technology will transform healthcare. It will surely accelerate the existing move toward healthcare taking place at home. To help us wrap our minds around this transformation, we review an article that explores three technologies: Artificial intelligence Blockchain Wearables Th…
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Spasticity can be present in many of the conditions we treat as occupational therapy professionals. And, it can add significant cost and burden for our patients. The article we are discussing in this 1-hour course gives you a big picture overview of the science behind what we know (and don’t know!) about spasticity. You’ll find certain approaches (…
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The research we are discussing on this 1-hour episode really drives home the complex connection between depression and 3 neurodegenerative diseases: Alzehimer’s Disease Parkinson’s Disease Huntington Disease Even though depression has a high comorbidity with all of these diseases, you’ll learn why it should not be an assumed part of the disease pro…
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Plagiocephaly has historically been thought of as a benign, cosmetic issue. But, the seminal study we are looking at during this 1-hour course indicates that severe to moderate skull deformity may be best understood as a biomarker for developmental vulnerability. As we’ll see, moderate to severe skull deformity was linked with lower cognitive and a…
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About half of cancer survivors report difficulty with ADLs and a third difficulty with iADLs. But, unfortunately, only around 1 in 10 older adults with cancer who have a known functional limitation receive a referral to OT or PT. Even less make it to an eval. And, even less than that, complete their full course of rehab. Why are we failing to suppo…
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The research we’ve explored on the podcast, seems to be pointing to a new reality: The future of healthcare will be in the home. But, how will we get there? How will our homes ever be ready to age in place? The transition is going to be a complex story of the right technologies, the right funding, and the right narratives. All of which will ultimat…
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As occupational therapy providers, we have a duty to truly understand the word “occupation.” This means acknowledging the role occupation has played in shaping societal policies and norms, many of which are fundamentally unjust. We also need to admit that our professional knowledge base, itself, is skewed. The foundations of OT have evolved from an…
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The article we are looking at today challenges us to look critically at occupation—and how it can be used as a tool for justice or injustice. The reality is that many of us have narrowed our view of occupation into the medicalized and individualized categories of ADLs. But, we know from research (and lived experience!) that occupation is much more …
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It’s no secret that our healthcare systems are built to react to sickness and health events—not to keep people healthy in the first place. If we want to get serious about producing health for our patients, we have to start shifting our healthcare system to address social determinants of health. But, how is such a seismic shift even possible—and wha…
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Both participation-focused OT and knowledge translation are hot topics in OT right now. And, in this one-hour course we will explore a research article that puts forth a knowledge translation roadmap to accelerate the uptake of participation-focused OT assessments and intervention. These are both big topics in their own right, and when you mesh the…
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Children are not little adults. Their brains are actively developing. Because of this neuroplasticity, one might assume they would more quickly and fully recover from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is not the case. A brain injury can have a more devastating impact on a child than a similar injury in a mature adult. (Brain Injury Association o…
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Falls are a complex problem. This makes preventing them a perfect target for our OT skillset. This week we are looking at an article that explores “the state of the science” on preventing falls in hospitalized patients. The authors walk us through: The scope of the problem The science (or lack thereof) supporting different interventions While many …
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When we think of hand therapy, we tend to think of it as a practice area with an abundance of research. But, the mapping review of hand therapy interventions we examine this episode reminds us that there are also sizable gaps in the research—especially when it comes to more complex diagnoses. This means that when OTs are working with upper extremit…
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As OTs, we believe that creating a therapeutic alliance is one of the most powerful vehicles to change. But, we also know that there are many barriers that exist to building transformational relationships with our clients Telehealth can feel like another such barrier—but it doesn’t have to be! The article we are looking at in this 1 hour podcast-ba…
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From pregnancy to age 2 is arguably the most important developmental window of our lifetimes. This makes the work of OTs who work with this age incredibly important. And, for the rest of us, we should be using our professional knowledge to advocate for the proper support for families at this critically important window. In this one hour podcast cou…
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The use of sensory-based interventions (SBIs) and environmental modification are common OT treatments. But, what is the evidence behind these treatments? In this episode, we’ll look at an influential systematic review that explores that question. The authors lay out the evidence behind specific sensory techniques and environmental modifications for…
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Whether or not you are personally a fan of virtually reality—all OTs should be following the developing research on this technology. In this episode, we’ll discuss an article where the authors explore the use of virtual reality (VR) systems that are built specifically for rehab versus general-use VR, like the Nintendo Wii and Xbox. The authors real…
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It is so easy to get caught in the minutiae of our daily work. And, sometimes it is incredibly helpful to zoom out and take a big picture look at the incredible changes we have seen in healthcare over the past decades. The journal article we are looking at this week gives us a bird’s-eye view of the past, present, and future of managing rheumatic a…
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We need some of our OTs with the biggest hearts and brightest minds to consider specializing in burn therapy. But, no matter what setting you work in, you will likely have someone with a burn patient on your caseload at some point. Burns are the 4th most common type of trauma worldwide (behind traffic accidents, falls, and interpersonal violence.) …
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Helping people change their habits to change their health is one of the main mechanisms that makes OT effective. But, I don’t think we spend enough time thinking about how HARD it is to change our habits. The article we are looking at today focuses on changing lifestyle habits for adults at high risk of a cardiovascular incident, like a stroke. The…
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Constraint-induced Movement Therapy has the reputation for being an intervention that is only for specialized OTs in some far-away speciality clinic. But, trust me: no matter what population you work with, OTs should be following this research. Today, on the podcast we are looking at a Cochrane review of all the evidence that undergirds this treatm…
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The change from “caseload” to “workload” may not seem that dramatic, but make no mistake it is a quiet revolution that is happening in school-based OT. It fundamentally shifts how we deliver care. The article we are discussing on the podcast encourages a shifting away from an individualist, medical model “caseload” based approach. And, encourages u…
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Many of us were not taught about the economics of OT in occupational therapy school. And, part of that reason is that the research base on the economic value of our work is just emerging. In this episode we will look at an article on the economic effects of OT in the acute and subacute setting. The good news in this article is that there is a growi…
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The research we are reviewing in this course showcases how far we’ve come in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cerebral palsy (CP) in children. The authors also explore the strength of the evidence behind 182 interventions for CP, organizing them into an “evidence traffic light.” This is an important paper for all OTs to read—not ju…
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The term cultural competence can feel too soft and narrow to really push our profession towards equity and justice. But, the article we are reviewing today from the top 100 OT-related articles, brings up several essential points for discussion. The mention of OT in the article is grim. The article highlights “culturally blind” attitudes of OTs that…
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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) weaves together multiple concepts that OTs are already familiar with and often use in practice. On a personal level, it provides helpful tools we can utilize as we navigate complex situations in our work. But, not only is it personally helpful, the research we’re looking at today shows us why we need to be aw…
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This prestigious guideline on Parkinson’s Disease (PD) treatment, that we’ll be covering in this podcast episode, recommends that rehab therapies are started at the time of diagnosis and continued throughout the disease course. This article will update you on key information about the PD disease process, the pervasiveness of non-motor symptoms, and…
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How we understand our role as occupational therapy practitioners makes a huge difference in how we show up for our clients. But, unfortunately, some theories of OT practice fail to aid us in practical clinical reasoning that focuses on occupation. Luckily, the theories of OT practice that are emerging are getting closer to capturing the care we asp…
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Our spinal cord injury clients stay in our hearts and minds. After all, we help them and their families navigate tremendous life changes. This week’s article gives us a solid big-picture review of what we know (and don’t know) about spinal cord injury rehab. You’ll learn about commonly used assessments, as well as which treatments are gaining tract…
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In this 1 hour course, we will be diving into an incredibly helpful journal article that summarizes the evidence behind pediatric OT interventions. The authors take 52 pediatric OT interventions for children with disabilities and rate the evidence behind them. They organize the evidence into a traffic light infographic—where green means “the eviden…
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Spending time in research can deliver the humbling, but needed, reminder that not all therapy leads to clear value for our clients. For example, in the United States, we can now see that in the 2010s therapy was being delivered in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)—beyond what was helpful for clients. Part of the problem was the fee-for-service paym…
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It can feel like everyone is discussing the benefits of mindfulness. Yet, with all this fanfare, we must ask: does the evidence justify incorporating mindfulness into occupational therapy? The systematic review we will look at in this one hour course says, “YES!” (At least for specific chronic pain conditions.) The authors provide a great overview …
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Research is backing up what many of us are experiencing in our communities: the pandemic is exacerbating mental health issues. And, one can imagine how this would be true for new mothers—so many families’ birth experiences have been drastically impacted by COVID protocols, followed by increased isolation once the family arrives home. The article we…
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In this one hour episode of the OT Potential podcast, you will be introduced to the Kawa model and how it can be used to foster collaboration for a rehab team. The Kawa Model uses the metaphor of a river to depict one’s life journey. In this mental model, occupational therapists enable, restore, and/or maximize their client’s life flow. The model c…
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