#OTalk 28th November – Frailty, Cancer and the role of OT

 

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “Frailty, cancer and the role of OT” and will be hosted by Jeni Woods and Helen Bowker (@Jeni_Woods_OT and @Bowker_Helen).

Here is what they have to say…

The demographics of the UK are changing with more people living longer. There are over 11.8 million people aged 65 or over in the UK with this figure set to rise by approximately 40% over the next 17 years (Age UK 2017). One of the most significant shifts in the population is that more people are living beyond the age of 85 (ONS 2016, Age UK 2017).

An ageing population brings some major challenges for health and social care. The number of people living with longer term conditions and multi-comorbidities increases with age, all of which will impact on the individual’s engagement in occupational roles, ADLs and social participation (Macmillan 2012, Age UK 2017). Age UK (2017) state that by the time an individual reaches their late 80s, over one in three people have difficulty in manging five or more activities of daily living.

Macmillan (2012) reported that the UK had the worst survival rates in Europe for older people. Given that the UK is faced with an ageing population, who potentially are living with multiple comorbidities and long-term conditions, it is important to review how we support older patients through their cancer journey.

Handforth et al (2015) state that over half of older cancer patients have frailty or pre-frailty, which can have the following consequences: increased risk of mortality, post-operative complications and cancer treatment intolerances.

Frailty is commonly associated with ageing with the British Geriatric Society (2015) defining it as a distinctive health state related to the ageing process in which multiple body systems gradually lose their in-built reserves.”

Frailty can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to engage in activities of daily living. Frail older people often have more frequent unplanned admissions and readmissions, longer hospital stays, higher mortality rates and are more likely to require social care support on discharge (Age UK 2017, Torpy et al 2006, Oliver et al 2014)

This reinforces the need for health and social care professionals to evaluate the way that they support older patients through their cancer journey, through effective assessments and MDT working to improve outcomes and quality of care.

Frailty has the potential to impact many patients across their disease pathway journey, not just cancer. It is important for occupational therapists to share best practices in their field, so that we can promote the role of occupational therapy in supporting the nations ageing population to maintain their independence in undertaking ADLS, participating in occupational roles and social engagement.

Some questions to consider…

  • How would you define frailty?
  • What assessments do you use for identifying frailty?
  • What outcomes do you use for older patients who are frail?
  • Which occupational therapy models do you use to guide your practice with working with older patients?
  • What can occupational therapists offer to supporting frail patients through their cancer journey?
  • What examples are there of effective MDT working in your area that could support frailty?
  • What training is available for occupational therapists for managing frailty?

References:

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#OTalk 21st November – Occupational Therapy and the STOMP campaign.

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “STOMP” and will be hosted by The RCOT People with Learning Disabilities Specialist Section (@RCOT_PLD).

Here is what they had to say…

Choosing a topic has not been easy as we acknowledge there is a lot we can talk about. We asked our members at our annual conference which was hosted at RCOT HQ on 14th October 2017 what they would like to discuss. The decision was occupational therapy and STOMP campaign – Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both.

On 14 July 2015, reports were published highlighting widespread inappropriate use of antipsychotics and other medicines used to treat mental illness in people with learning disabilities. Following these reports, NHS England led a ‘call to action’ which brought together representatives of professional and patients groups to make sure changes were made to these inappropriate practices. This led to a pledge to reduce over medication and the start of the STOMP project about stopping the over use of psychotropic medicines. The 3 year project runs until 2019 (NHS England).

It is estimated that every day about 35,000 people with learning disabilities or autism are prescribed psychotropic medicines when they do not have a diagnosed mental health condition, often to manage behaviour which is seen as challenging.

For more information go onto the NHS England website – https://www.england.nhs.uk/learning-disabilities/stomp/

During this #OTalk we would like to gain a better understanding of what occupational therapist think about STOMP and how can we impact the campaign?

The questions we will ask are:

  1. Do you feel confident in discussing medication issues with MDT
  2. Do occupational therapists have a role with reducing challenging behavior
  3. Can occupational therapists support clients to reduce medication?
  4. What practice skills do you use to reduce challenging behavour?

 

#OTalk 14th November – Maintaining stroke specialist services in the current commissioning environment.

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Challenges of maintaining stroke specialist services in the current commissioning environment” and will be hosted by the RCOT Specialist Section Neurological Practice- Stroke forum (@OTstrokeSSNP).

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