Physical disabilities can lead to an altered sense of self whether the client has suffered a traumatic event or is faced with a chronic disabling condition. Daily occupations change with age and also with disabilities therefore adaptations must occur to maintain the human spirit.

It is important to identify individual roles important to each client and develop acceptance to lead a rewarding life.

“As a person reconfigures his or her concept of self integrated with a self-appraisal of the changed body, the person moves to the next stage of coping” (Cara, MacRae, 2005)


Coping skills for patients:

Support Groups:

National website for locating support groups, also lists rights for those with physical disabilities:


Books, chat rooms, information on sexual independence and other personal resources: http://www.disabilities-r-us.com/

Therapeutic listening skills for patients/therapist interaction: http://youtu.be/HV2Vf9cRarM


To assess mental health status this book is useful for our team to measure current status and measure OT intervention:


Occupational Therapy Intervention:

Adjusting to life with a new or chronic disability can lead to

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • failure to thrive

---------------------------------EDUCATION and INTERVENTION ARE KEY-----------------------------------------

It is important to know the warning signs and provide each patient with the tools to regain and maintain their quality of life.

  • Changes in mood

  • Sleep pattern disturbances

  • Interpersonal relationship changes

  • Changes in routines, roles or habits

  • Vocational and societal withdrawal

  • Self care issues

  • Non compliance of medical and personal advice



Cara, E., & Macrae, A. (2005). Psychosocial occupational therapy (2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar.