Editorial – July 2023

We are pleased to open this July issue of the Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy exploring in greater depth occupational therapy's use of advanced technologies and varied means of expression in order to encourage participation in meaningful occupation. This collection of articles sheds light on projects, interventions and perspectives that promote a better understanding of the diverse innovations available to us as occupational therapists.

In the first article, "A Needs Assessment for the Development of a Project: Increasing Parental Involvement in Occupational Therapy Intervention in Special Education", Elisheva Nistenpover and Dr. Margalit Pade present a comprehensive needs assessment that aims to promote parental involvement in occupational therapy interventions within special education settings, using a digital tool – the “Padlet board”.  This tool and other similar ones have been widely used since the outbreak of the Corona epidemic. This new technology has opened up possibilities for occupational therapists to involve the "significant others" in our patients' lives. Their research provides insights and demonstrates the development of digital strategies for involving parents in order to optimize therapeutic results.

Further digital tools are discussed by Yfat Ben Refael and Yael Shidlovsky Press in their article "The Implementation Process of a Novel Evidence-Based Integrated Video Modeling Intervention to Improve the Social-Vocational Skills of People with Developmental Disabilities". They describe incorporating an innovative intervention made with videos and designed to improve the socio-professional skills of adults with intellectual developmental disabilities. Their work emphasizes the advantages of using digital means in therapy, especially videos, and their impact on skill development in this population.

Finally, in the last article of this issue, Deena Shalif and Dr. Aviva Beit Yosef present "A Nursing Home Project Integrating Doll Therapy for People with Dementia – Promoting Meaningful Activity Engagement".

This project takes a deeper look at the integration of doll therapy as a therapeutic intervention for people with dementia living in nursing homes. Doll therapy has used as a unique approach that aims to improve the well-being and quality of life of people with dementia by providing a means of connection, comfort and engagement. The article sheds light on the benefits and discusses the results of this innovative approach. It’s exciting to note that during the writing of this article, Dr. Aviva Beit Yosef completed her doctoral studies – congratulations!

We would also like to welcome a new addition to our journal team.  Ronit Dorot, is the new editor of the "From a Personal Viewpoint" column and joins the ranks of the section editor. In her opening article, "An Invitation to Listen, Ronit examines the importance of active listening in therapeutic relationships, emphasizing the profound impact it can have on the therapeutic process.

In the "Point of View" column, editor Dr. Tamar Paley offers her insights in the article "Person, occupation, environment and… compassion". Tamar delves into the complex relationship between these core elements of occupational therapy and emphasizes the essential role of compassion in promoting client-centered holistic treatment.

The Technology and Internet column, edited by Dr. Sivan Regev, was written by Dr. Sharon Zlotnik. Dr. Zlotnik will soon start her position as the head of the new occupational therapy department at Safed Academic College!  This section explore the hot topic in the digital world – "How ChatGPT hindered me from writing the section". Dr. Zlotnik shares her experiences and reflections on the interaction between occupational therapy and emerging technologies.

This issue highlights the importance of balancing person-centered care and meaning, active listening and compassion – with advances in technological tools and innovation.

Pleasant reading,

Dr. Sivan Regev, co-editor of the IJOT, sivreg@gmail.com

Dr. Gili Hoter Ishai, co-editor of the IJOT, ghertsman@gmail.com