Tag: Parkinson’s disease

Can We Detect Depressive Emotions in the Masked Faces of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease?

Foreword          As occupational therapists, we care about facilitating participation in meaningful occupations and improving human quality of life, especially for people with physical or mental diseases. We help patients or clients with functional restriction participate in what they want to do in daily life through the purposeful and therapeutic use of activities. Occupational therapy’s viewpoint is that human occupational performances can be categorized as social participation, daily living activities, work, leisure, etc. Social interaction has been one of the main focuses of therapy for people with impairments, such as patients with Parkinson’s disease. Patients with Parkinson’s disease often complain that, when interacting with family, age peers, or medical practitioners, they have difficulty conveying messages through facial or bodily movements, since disease symptoms have impaired their faculties. Furthermore, medical practitioners, including occupational therapists, are also likely to misjudge patients’ emotions or motivation during therapy process if practitioners disregard the possible influence of patients’ symptoms on their expression. These clinical needs motivated my one-year Fulbright research project in the U.S. Through academic exchange, I hope to generate new contributions to clinical practice of occupational therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. During this Fulbright research, I have been focusing on finding

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A Visit to a Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Something about Myself       I studied in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University for my Master’s and Doctor of Science degrees from 1996 to 2000. In my dissertation research, I examined how to manipulate experimental conditions to enhance movement of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). To recruit participants for my research, I went to several PD support groups and observed the active role of local support groups in the US. However, when I returned to Taiwan, I found that PD support groups were not common there. Our university hospital used to hold PD support group meetings, but after the hospital social workers asked the people with PD to run the support group themselves, they never met again. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity while being a Fulbright scholar in the US to go to PD support group meetings to learn more about these resources and how they influence the lives of people with PD, hoping to find ways to facilitate support groups in Taiwan.       Through my host professor’s connection, I scheduled a visit to a PD support group meeting in a rehabilitation hospital in New Hampshire in mid November 2014. The

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& Reflections