The occupational therapists (OTs) working in the HIV clinic are specialist OTs whose role is to enhance the quality of life for people living with HIV. All work towards improving quality of life is considered to be rehabilitation and we have professional links with OTs and Physios across the country who work in a similar clinical area, as well as with researchers in Canada who have an interest in HIV rehabilitation.
The HIV OTs work with the adult service and with the adolescents who will be transitioning into the adult service. We are one part of the multi-disciplinary team and receive referrals from all other disciplines or from the patient themselves.
At referral we will make contact to arrange a convenient appointment and then work together with the person to decide on the focus of the input which suits the individual. OT assessment and intervention is focussed on three broad areas: cognitive, psychological and physical functioning. Examples of specific interventions within the areas are below:
- Stress management
- Relaxation training
- Sleep hygiene
- Assertiveness training
- Neurocognitive screening and assessment
- Memory and organisation strategies
- Provision of compensatory equipment