Context. Nowadays, congenital limb malformations effect about 1,5 ‰ of births in France. For a few decades, the improvement of their diagnosis has led to a growing demand for antenatal consultations, in which occupational therapy is inadequately represented. That is why we intend to think about the role of occupational therapy in such a context by investigating the gains it can provide.
Materials and methods. We carried out a literature review and interviewed occupational therapists participating in antenatal consultations for limb malformations. Other professionals involved in the same consultations, whether or not associated with an occupational therapist, were also interviewed. Their answers enabled a comparative analysis of practices.
Results. We have highlighted several dimensions given by occupational therapy. The handicap in daily life, a source of great anxiety for parents, is more precisely and concretely raised when the occupational therapist is included to the consultation. As for the concepts of “handicap”, “handicap situation” and “difference”, they are only explained in her/his presence. The study brought to light the place of occupational therapy in surgical proposals and decisions during the antenatal period.
Discussion – Conclusion. The results of this study provided us with a positive answer to the raised question and tend to demonstrate the essential and legitimate role of the occupational therapist during the antenatal period, thanks to dimensions that she/he brings to it. The support of such a professional during this singular period could be further developed.
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