This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “OT and personality disorder” and will be hosted by Keir Harding (@KeirWales).
Here is what Keir had to say…
April the 16th is the first ever conference for Occupational Therapists working within the field of Personality Disorder. We thought it would be good to take some of the learning from the conference and take it outside of the room so on April 17th, #Otalk is dedicated to exploring the themes of the conference.
Personality disorder is a highly contentious diagnosis associated with high levels of stigma and exclusion from services. Staff often find the difficulties around self harm and suicide difficult to work with. The challenges of working with people who find others to be threatening and untrustworthy can also impact on clinicians feeling effective. Often the environment around people with this diagnosis adds to the stigma by labelling them as attention seeking and manipulative.
While there is a temptation to think that this is particularly related to the field of mental health, it’s worth remembering the people who get this diagnosis are over represented in physical health, particularly in the areas of fibromyalgia, chronic pain, diabetes and arthritis. With a prevalence of around 1 in 10 of the population, the chances are high that we are working with people who might meet the criteria for this diagnosis – whether as our patients or colleagues. As OTs, we could argue that we are less likely to be affected by stigma due to our tendency to be less focused on diagnosis.
The questions for the night might well be subject to change but for now….
1 – Should the diagnosis of Personality Disorder have any impact on how we work with people?
2 – Are standardised assessments useful for working with this client group (What do you use?)
3 – Specific OT or Manualised treatment done by OTs. Where should we lean?
4 – What it the future of OT for people who are given this diagnosis?
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