Occupational therapy helps brain tumor survivors live and thrive

Occupational therapy helps brain tumor survivors live and thrive

September 6, 2019

What is Occupational Therapy?

After treatment for a brain tumor, patients may experience difficulty doing the day-to-day things they are used to such as work around the house, hobbies, or tasks related to their career or profession. Occupational therapists work with them to return to the activities that they enjoy. From cooking to playing sports, an occupational therapist will work with patients to set personal goals and help them achieve those goals through a personalized strategy of therapeutic interventions. 

The primary goal of occupational therapy is to improve a patient’s health and ability to physically function on a day-to-day basis. 

Why Should I Pursue Occupational Therapy?

After surgical treatment for a brain tumor, occupational therapy may help a patient greatly improve their quality of life by helping them get back to their favorite activities. Being able to pursue hobbies and handle normal day-to-day responsibilities may also help combat feelings of depression or anxiety that are common after a major medical event such as diagnosis and treatment for a brain tumor. 

Anne Murray is one GBM patient who is an occupational therapist herself, and she set a goal for herself: she wanted to be able to dance at her son’s wedding. Read about her journey here: https://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2018/rare-cancers-2018/turning-the-tide-in-glioblastoma

When Can Patients Access Occupational Therapy?

Many patients will receive some occupational therapy sessions while they are still inpatient after surgery to remove a brain tumor. Once home, occupational therapy can happen in an outpatient setting or even in a patient’s own home. 

How To Access Occupational Therapy After Brain Tumor Treatment

More than half of patients will begin occupational therapy while in the hospital following treatment for a brain tumor, but occupational therapy should not end there. A patient’s medical team is the best resource for a local referral to an occupational therapist who is best suited to address their specific goals. Insurance may cover occupational therapy, and the hospital’s finance department can be an excellent resource for making occupational therapy affordable. 

More Resources about Occupational Therapy for Patients with a Brain Tumor