Date Presented 04/19/2023

In this presentation, we explore wellness and occupational balance from the perspective of parents of children in early intervention. We discuss how OT practitioners can support family wellness through routine-based interventions.

Primary Author and Speaker: Evguenia S. Popova

Additional Authors and Speakers: Sarah Brennan, M. Veronica Llerena

Parents of children with disabilities report greater stress and a lower health-related quality of life than parents of children without disabilities. Therefore, it is critical to attend to parents’ well-being and advocate for the whole family’s health and wellness in pediatrics. In this presentation, we discuss 1) research on parent perspectives on family wellness in early intervention (EI) and 2) opportunities for occupational therapy (OT) practitioners to support family wellness through routine-based interventions. Our study examined parent perspectives on well-being (World Health Organization Well-Being Index; WHO-5), stress (Perceived Stress Scale; PSS), and occupational performance (Occupational Performance History Interview-II; OPHI-II). Seven parents of children in EI completed the study. Parents reported a sense of well-being ‘more than half of the time’ (WHO-5; M=2.74, SD=1.36) and experience stress ‘sometimes’ (PSS; M=1.59, SD=0.57). In the OPHI-II interviews, parents described their well-being from the perspective of parenting roles, routines, and environments. In achieving occupational balance and wellness routines, parents identified themes of occupational time (time allotted to valued roles and routines), physical space (accessibility and safety within home and community), and social connections (relationships with their child, family, friends, and extended community). In addition to presenting our research, we will illustrate how occupational therapists utilize routine-based interventions to promote family wellness using a clinical case study. The case study will illustrate a range of supports and barriers families may face in achieving health and wellness. We will also present opportunities for OT intervention to support occupational balance from the perspective of time, space, and connection. Finally, participants will be guided to reflect on opportunities to advocate for the occupational balance of parents in EI to ensure optimal care and family outcomes.


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