État des lieux de l’ergothérapie en Unité de soins palliatifs (USP) : objectifs, missions, occupations et représentations professionnelles en France

Occupational therapy in palliative care unit: objectives, missions, occupations and professional representations in France

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Summary :

Background. Occupational therapy, with its holistic, occupation-focused approach, has a role to play in improving patients’ quality of life in the face of occupational imbalances and day-to-day pain. However, there are currently very few studies into this practice in France. It was therefore decided to explore French occupational therapy practice in palliative care and how it is perceived by other healthcare professionals.
Methods. A mixed-methods study was carried out in all French palliative care units including an occupational therapist. The participants were occupational therapists and various healthcare professionals. Data were analysed using specific content analysis and descriptive statistics.
Results. Occupational therapists mainly intervene to improve patients’ comfort, preserve their activities of daily living and guarantee an adapted environment. They do little to provide psychological support, support for carers and manage fatigue or breathlessness. As for certain tasks to alleviate occupational imbalances, they are underdeveloped. Finally, the representations of occupational therapy by other healthcare professionals are consistent with the current practice of French occupational therapists.
Discussion. The position of occupational therapy in France and in the European Union is fairly uniform in palliative care units, unlike that in the United Kingdom. Indeed, the number of British occupational therapists practising full-time is higher and they more often support the majority of assignments. However, there are some similarities : the underdevelopment of occupational roles and the preponderance of comfort assignments. As for the representation of healthcare professionals, it is similar in France and abroad.
Conclusion. Like the international situation, occupational therapy in palliative care units in France is not characterised by a holistic practice centred on occupation.

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Article rédigé par :
  • Tanguy Milan

    Ergothérapeute DE
    Hôpital Léon-Bérard
    Hyères, 83400

  • Leïla Tortora

    Ergothérapeute DE
    Cadre de santé paramédical
    Formatrice en ergothérapie
    La Garde, 83130

  • Maxence Barroso

    Ergothérapeute DE
    CHIC Castres-Mazamet, 81108

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