The Role of the Occupational Therapist in Disaster Areas: Systematic Review.
Occup Ther Int. 2017;2017:6474761
Authors: Parente M, Tofani M, De Santis R, Esposito G, Santilli V, Galeoto G
Background: Disasters are increasingly more frequent events on our planet. During disaster the role of the occupational therapist will require a more specific operative framework within nongovernmental organizations and community health services.
Design: Systematic review.
Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the evidence that highlight occupational therapist’s role in disaster area through a systematic review.
Materials and Methods: Research on MEDLINE was performed. All articles from 2005 to 2015 concerning rehabilitation and occupational therapy in disaster areas were included.
Results: Ten studies were selected to be included in this review. Four interesting points emerged: the importance of having rehabilitation intervention in postdisaster situations, the necessity to include a rehabilitation team in the early phase of disaster response, the need to provide a method to address the difficult evacuation, and finding the safest method of transport of people with preexisting disabilities and new injuries.
Conclusions: The amount of evidence with respect to specific intervention of the occupational therapist’s role in a disaster situation is limited. However some evidence suggests that it could be a good means for reducing the number of medical complications and deaths of persons with preexisting disabilities. The evidences found highlight the necessity to create a multidisciplinary team addressing needs in disasters situation, in which the occupational therapist could certainly contribute.
PMID: 29097975 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]