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Assignment - Write paper on Chronic Disease and Occupational Identity.


Answer - Chronic Disease and Occupational Identity

The major challenge relating to health care that is faced by our society in present scenario is regarding chronic diseases which are also called as Non communicable diseases. Most commonly occurring chronic diseases are Diabetes, Heart failure, arthritis and cancer. The major cause for these diseases is their daily habits like diet and sometimes they are hereditary. Usually human beings engage in some other different occupations through they create their own identity. By involving in their occupation for a long time they will be known to everyone and develops their identity in the working environment with a passion to grow in their profession (Kielhofner, 2009). When coming to chronic diseases these are long standing diseases which will suffer a person through their life time and they will have a capacity to later the person's identity. A model designed by Nelson (1988) will help us to know the influence of chronic disease on the person's occupational identity and also show its impact on the performance of a individual. They also bring the physiological changes and obstruct the development of an individual. This in turn shows its impact on the performance in occupation and as a result of this the person's identity in the occupation will be altered. This meaning can be used to define the occupational identity. From one can understand that if any person's identity in occupation and his purpose in occupation are altered due to disease this will result in a big loss the person as he loses his identity. It is suggested that adaption related to occupation will have a vital role in the recovery of a person's identity succeeding the chronic disease (Walder & Molineux, 2017). There are many limits relating to this research and Butler (1995) constituted question in more number which in turn helps in identifying the limits and also helps to analyze the concept clearly which leads in developing new standpoint.

Chronic Disease

Now days the thinking about chronic diseases were changed completely. It was accepted by the historians and physicians that the major cause for death in the 20th century is due to chronic diseases and not by the acute diseases. This issue was heavily focused by the World Health Organization in the present scenario (Jones, 2015). Nearly 40 million deaths are recorded every year due to non communicable diseases in the society. This is equal to 70% deaths universally (WHO, 2017). Usually chronic diseases are the ones which reside in an individual for a long time and they show their affects on the person lifelong. As per AIHW (2014), chronic diseases have the capability of causing disability and they show their crucial effect on the services related to health in Australia. The situations of chronic disease may vary from being mild to sometime leading to life threatening problems. Normally chronic diseases are not cured and they require a long term treatment (AIHW, 2014). Basically the main chronic diseases that are occurring now days are Diabetes, Diseases related to cardio vascular system, cancer, chronic diseases related to respiratory system and metabolism related problems (WHO, 2017). These respective diseases have their unique way and influence the approach of an individual in his day to day existence. Depression is a specific chronic depression and shows effects on an individual which are long standing. As per AIHW (2014) arthritis, hypertension, back pain and asthma are the major occurring diseases in Australia other than depression. Bipolar disorder, postpartum depression and major depressive disorder are the various types related to depression. Feeling sad, lacking interest on everything, disturbances related to sleep, feeling tired or having less energy, feeling anxious or agitated, feeling themselves as unimportant, not able to take decisions, and suffering with physical problems which are not explainable are some of the symptoms for depression (Mayo Clinic, 2017) and these will show their major impact on their daily life. The areas where depression will show its impact are performance related to occupation, participation regarding social activities, education and the individual's daily activities (AOTA, 2012). This indicates that depression will affect different features in a person's life which in turn affects their identity in the society.


Occupational Identity

Globally, numbers of definitions are available to interpret about occupational identity. According to Christensen (1999) he explained that occupational identity is nothing but a self identity that is very closely related to the functions performed by an individual. (Kielhofner ,2009) stated that occupational identity is nothing but identity related to occupation that helps the person to be identified which helps in achieving his goals in the occupation. (Skorikov & Vondracek 2011) defined occupational identity as the one which creates a consciousness among them in the working place and this makes them to work effectively. As per Unruh (2004) it is a sign of physical and aspects related to spiritual nature of human being.

The idea of Unruh's coincides with the Model of Nelson (1988) where they both described the occupation importance for the individual. The environment which will be more interactive is very important for a willing occupation. If you consider an old man who is having interest in playing golf he can play it but the limit o play will be contracted because of his age and for his age he can play the golf only with his that means the play is limited only between those two but he cannot play professionally. This is an exception for the cases who believe that occupation as integrity in the past, present and future. (Phelan & Kinsella ,2009) suggested that occupation identity can be shaped by meeting the demands in occupation and competing with the society, keeping goals to reach their aims are important other than interacting with the people in the society (Unruh ,2004). But some of the researchers will argue that occupation maintains the integrity of an individual in the past, present and future.

When coming to identity in occupation adaption plays an essential role. Nelson (1988) suggested that adaption will show its effect on the development of an individual's structure. An individual will get occupied in his occupation when he understands the purpose of his identity in the occupation. Kielhofner (2009) supported the adaption idea in occupation as it will develop a positive attitude in the occupation and helps to achieve success in the competition they face in the occupation.


The influence of depression on the identity of Occupation:

It is a known fact that the chronic illness will have a major influence on the daily life of a person. And it can be seen visibly through many cases also this will show its impact on the identity of the person in his work place which effects his development.

To know the impact of identity on occupation, Nelson has given an example of Amy to explain his model, Amy is a 56year old lady, and she was treated for depression. She used to grow orchids and she used to grow them in a different way from others , the activities that was taken by Amy in this process is she use to dig the dirt, used to seed the plants, and carry pots containing orchids in her process of developing orchid green house. She was specialized in her activity because her motor skills and cognitive behavior is very good such that she remember everything and used to take care of her orchid green house very effectively. But when she suffered with chronic disease like depression she lost all his cognitive and motor skills and due to some complications in her disease she also lacked her interest on the work and it has shown the effects on her which were long lasting. Due to the depression she got she lost her occupational identity because she was not able to manage her duties because of her k\less cognitive and motor skills. Previously with a passion she used to work everything carefully in order to keep her occupational identity and she was a expert in her work of constructing a orchid green house. But when she was suffered with depression due to her complications she was not able to keep up her occupational identity due to less motor and cognitive skills. This is one of the examples which help us to know how the chronic diseases will affect the occupational identity. As she lost her competence it makes her to feel sad and this developed the symptoms of depression. Because of all these things the performance of Amy was reduced in her occupation. Due to these all these reasons she may exit from her work of gardening.

From the above model it was observed that Amy might have felt that her identity was lost in the occupation due to the chronic disease which she suffered. This is an example of how the chronic disease affects the individual in a negative manner in the occupation. (Christensen ,1999) explained that therapy related to occupation can be used to re construct the identity of individual in his occupation. If we can able to give a feeling of optimism to people who were at the feeling of depresses then we can make them encouraged to regain their interest regarding the work. Walder and Malinaux (2017) supported this idea that by motivating and by giving optimistic opinions to people we can make them to regain their identity in the occupation. This serves as evidence that chronic diseases which are suffered by people will influence both the health of the individual and their well being in the community. It is to be noted that our society has to establish some measures to identify like those people and give them counseling regarding their importance in occupation and their identity. By doing like this a positive attitude will be created in them which help in the individual's personal development.


Detailed Analysis of Occupational Identity:

Occupational science is new branch which is emerging now a day's and it is developing very fastly. The research that was carried by the previous researchers like Nelson, Kielhofner and Christiansen so many new concepts were raised which further given a chance for new research, and to achieve new perspectives. Hammell (2011) discusses many aspects relating to occupational identity based on his analysis and this laid a foundation about occupational science and its future perspectives. From so many reports present in the documents occupational science stood as a challenge in constructing so many agendas, beliefs and understandings. This view of occupational science will differ from different cultures and it cannot be viewed similar in all cases. (Hammell , 2011) pointed out that scientists related to occupation and therapists influence at a less extent in the universe. There is no theory which was adopted universally regarding this occupational science.

From the studies it was understood that analyzing the occupational identity is a difficult task as it has no universally accepted theory. To know about this concept in a different perspective the scientists has gone for a new idea of taking opinions from different cultures as the thinking process will vary based on the cultural differences (Aldrich, 2011). By inculcating a feeling of spirituality and faith we can bring some difference in the situation as the will change the thinking process of individual which in turn helps in the development of well being of a person in the society. From all these observations it was known that it is impossible to laid a common concept which can be understandable to everyone about the occupational identity or occupational science. ( Rudman et al, 2008) suggested that perspectives from multiple directions has to be developed to know about occupational science and to analyze it and further advanced studies has to be carried out to know about it in a detailed manner.


From the above discussion it was observed that for human beings to create an identity in the society occupation plays a very vital role and this helps them to develop a confidence about themselves. Everyone will attain their identity in their occupations by performing their responsibilities in a better manner and this is essential to establish identity in the work place. But this will be getting reduced due the occurrence of long term diseases which are also called as chronic diseases. They may affect the person's identity either directly or indirectly by showing their influence regarding the ability of an individual and also these chronic illnesses will change the purpose and meaning of his work in the occupation. Through the hypothetical scenario we can observe how the chronic diseases are affecting the well being of a person in the society. With the help of Nelsons model it was observe that though they are expertise in their field because of the consequences they face due to the diseases they will lose interest in work and they cannot manage their work as their cognitive and motor skills are reduced. Now a day there are so many chronic diseases which are affecting the identity of a person in their occupation and which in turn affecting their performance in the work. According to AIHW, 2014, 3, 50,000 population of Australia are reported to be suffered from these conditions. Due to this serious consequences more study has to be carried out regarding this problem and some services has to be encouraged to change this feeling among the people in their occupation. As two persons thinking will vary and as their opinions differ analyzing about the occupational science is difficult. As this concept is having complex problems new perspectives have to be developed regarding this concept and new studies have to be carried out to know about this concept in all the ways possible.


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