What is the role of occupational therapy in the management of autonomic dysreflexia?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Ryan O Stephenson, DO; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Occupational therapy is another discipline involved extensively in the rehabilitation of individuals with SCI. The occupational therapist also must be familiar with the signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia and be able to respond quickly if the condition develops during a therapy session. [21]

Occupational therapists perform extensive training in the performance of activities of daily living with patients who have sustained SCI. Such activities include proper bowel and bladder management, which can help to prevent to the occurrence of autonomic dysreflexia. The occupational therapist may be involved in establishing a regular bowel program and may complete patient and family/caregiver education on this aspect of care.

Both occupational and physical therapists should educate the patient and family members about autonomic dysreflexia and ensure that they are familiar with prevention strategies, signs and symptoms, and proper management of the condition.

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