Apr 14, 2021 10:00 AM

Read time: 2 minutes

occupational therapy team

People with cancer may face challenges doing everyday activities. Cancer and its treatments can sometimes make it hard to move around easily and think clearly. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) offers occupational therapy as part of its cancer rehabilitation services. Occupational therapists help people figure out how to get back to normal routines, be independent, and have a better quality of life.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy helps people find solutions when they have a hard time doing everyday life activities.

Occupational therapists help people who face these problems:
  • Physical problems. Cancer and its treatments can cause people to lose strength. It can change the body in a way that makes it hard to do things like cook a meal, get dressed, or do light housekeeping. Occupational therapists help adapt the way the patient may do those things.
  • Fatigue. Occupational therapists help patients manage fatigue by teaching them to pace themselves, make priorities, or adapt an activity to make it easier.
  • Lack of motivation. Mental health issues like stress, depression, and fear can make it hard to feel motivated. Occupational therapists help people find purpose and value in their activities so they can be productive.
  • Stress. Occupational therapists teach people how to manage stress through techniques such as mindfulness.
  • Trouble sleeping. Occupational therapists help people learn relaxation techniques, establish a sleep schedule, and make changes to their environment so they can get more restful sleep.

What’s the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?

Occupational therapy focuses on all aspects of carrying out an activity. That includes mental effort, physical effort, the tools you use, and the area you do the task in.

Physical therapy focuses on helping the body move better. Physical therapists work with people to improve their strength, balance, coordination, and endurance.

How do I know if I need occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy may be right for you if you are experiencing these things:

  • You are getting less done in your daily routine.
  • You can’t do certain tasks because of physical problems.
  • You are too tired or weak to get things done.
  • You have less motivation to get things done.

How do I make an appointment with a Huntsman Cancer Institute occupational therapist?

Occupational therapists at Huntsman Cancer Institute see patients staying in the hospital and patients who come into the clinic. Talk to your care team or call 801-587-4091 to schedule an appointment or learn more.

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