About this department
People’s life is comprised of various activities, such as personal care, life management, and other activities to maintain one’s daily life, working, housekeeping, child rearing, studying, and other activities related to one’s task, as well as recreation and leisure activities. The quality of life, healthy life, and social participation are influenced by the condition of such work activities. Diseases and disorders cause problems for such work activities and daily life.
Occupational therapy, which is also referred to as a science of adaptation, is provided to support people having difficulties living their daily life due to diseases and disabilities by helping them develop, recover, and maintain skills to adapt to their daily life independently.
＜Perceiving the daily life scientifically＞
The difficulty to adjust to one’s daily life is caused by one or more factors related to the physiological, motor, cognitive, and social functions. Analyzing the problems in the daily life and taking measures requires the knowledge on the mechanism of human mind and body, how people perceive matters and make decision, how people learn and remember matters, how people understand social codes and act accordingly, and how people express their feelings through their actions and behavior.
＜Occupational therapy recipients＞
Occupational therapy recipients include people with various diseases and difficulties. They can be roughly classified into the following types:
– People with a disability in sensory and motor functions
(such as a cerebrovascular disorder, spinal cord injury, arthrosis, amputation, and an external injury on a hand)
– People with a disability in a cognitive function
(such as mental handicap, higher brain dysfunction and pervasive developmental disorder)
– Children with a developmental disorder
(such as cerebral palsy, posttraumatic syndrome after head injury, congenital anomaly, muscular dystrophy, autism, and learning disability)
– Elderly people with a disability
(such as a cerebrovascular disorder, arthrosis, senile dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease)
We have established occupational therapy as part of health science to foster peoplewith advanced expertise and rich humanity who would effectively engage in clinical practices, education, and research. At the Department of Occupational Therapy, we teach the characteristics of work activities that effectively help the therapy recipient improve and recover their adaptive functions, and provide an educational program that helps the students systematically acquire the knowledge and skills to analyze and assess issues and provide support so as to coordinate and schedule the work activities in accordance with the therapy recipients’ needs. The students’ acquired knowledge and skills are checked through their clinical practices.
Occupational therapy is a relatively new medical field, and it has attracted attention as a therapeutic and supportive method that can complement highly advanced medical care. To meet such demands, we must strive to conduct and continuously refine our research. In 2007, a graduate school was established in our department (Rehabilitation Science Course, the School of Human Health Science, Graduate School of Medicine) to foster advanced clinical specialists, educators, and researchers in cooperation with Kyoto University Hospital. At the graduate school, the staff and students engage not only in clinical research but also in research using objective indicators, such as near-infrared spectroscopy, electroencephalography, electroencephalography, functional brain image analysis, autonomic nervous function assessment, and neuropsychological tests.
1st year: Common subjects are provided to foster language skills and other basic scholastic skills. The basic specialized subjects provide universally required knowledge for medical care providers, such as the structure and functions of human bodies and various diseases and disabilities. The specialized subjects “Occupational Therapy Theory” and “Introduction to Occupational Therapy” are expected to deepen the interest in occupational therapy.
2nd year: The basic specialized subjects provide universally required knowledge for medical care providers. The specialized subjects provide the skills to form the basis of the expertise required for occupational therapists.
3rd year: The students apply the knowledge they have gained in their 2nd year and acquire practical knowledge and skills for “Clinical Practice III”.
4th year: The students acquire advanced clinical skills for “Clinical Practice IV”.
The clinical training facilities are Kyoto University Hospital and other general hospitals, welfare facilities and health centers, which are mainly located in Kansai area.
1st year: Clinical Practice I
This provides the students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of occupational therapy through observation tours of clinical sites.
2nd year: Clinical Practice II
This is designed to help the students check and integrate what they have studied in basic specialized subjects and specialized subjects.
3rd year: Clinical Practice III
This is provided in three fields, namely the occupational therapy for physical handicap, mental handicap, and developmental disorder. During the practice at the training facility, one or more patients are assigned to each student, providing an opportunity to deepen the students’ understanding of how to make the assessment and provide the occupational therapy. The students are required to devise therapy programs.
4th year: Clinical Practice IV
A 9-week clinical practice is provided for each of two fields among the three specialized fields. The students make assessment, provide therapy, and make reassessment for their patients at the training facilities.
Based on the methodologies they have learned in the 3rd year, the students are required to conduct their graduation research with a freely-selected theme under the guidance of tutors. The tasks of checking documents, devising the research plan, conducting surveys and research accordingly, and presenting the results are expected to form the basis for future clinical researchers.
The graduates and potential graduates of this department will be eligible to take the national occupational therapist examination. By passing the national examination, you can acquire the occupational therapist license.
＜Career for occupational therapists＞
Occupational therapist can have a career in various fields, such as medical care, health service, welfare, and education/research.
Medical care: General hospitals, university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, etc.
Health service: Health center, long-term care health facilities, etc.
Welfare service: Institutes for physically handicapped children, welfare facilities for the mentally handicapped, etc.
Education/research: Occupational therapist training institutes (universities, colleges, etc.)
Occupational therapy is divided into specialized fields of those for physical handicap (including elderly health issues), mental handicap, and developmental disorder. Among these fields, the occupational therapy for physical handicap amount to the highest proportion as a career.
(Released in April 2013)