Dream comes true through work of occupational therapy students
Thanks to a group of first-year U of A occupational therapy students, a multiple sclerosis sufferer and avid guitar player was able to pick up his cherished instrument and strum it for the first time since his diagnosis eight years earlier.
Student Danielle Costello says the tremors in the patient’s right arm made it difficult for him to play. “Our main focus was to try and find a way to steady his arm and allow close enough access to the strings that he would still be able to strum them,” said Costello.
After brainstorming through a range of options, the students used some of the skills they learned in the classroom to create an ergonomic cover for the guitar’s body called the Strum Rock It using splinting material. “Seeing him play again was an amazing experience; for some of our group it reaffirmed wanting to be occupational therapists,” said Costello.
“The students were able to put in place a real solution to a real problem and see for themselves that engagement in this meaningful occupation has a direct link with health and well-being,” said Anita Hamilton, their professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. “The learning outcomes from this project are immediately evident as students head out to do fieldwork.”