Postural Tachycardia Syndrome: A UK occupational therapy perspective

Jenny Welford, Christopher McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) is a form of dysautonomia, a term used to describe dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The condition can cause marked physical and cognitive impairment that can significantly impact upon activity. Although the exact UK prevalence is unknown, its frequency has stimulated an increase in studies. Occupational therapy services should place themselves in a position to respond to the potential need. This study aimed to determine how PoTS impacts upon activity, in order for occupational therapists to understand the implications of this condition and develop appropriate interventions. We recruited 201 adults (aged 18–70 years) via two patient support charities to participate in an online quantitative survey. Participants rated their experiences pre-symptoms versus present day in relation to their occupations, producing ordinal data under self-care, leisure and productivity domains, including their physical ability, motivation and fatigue levels. The pre-symptom versus present day probability scores of <0.001 can be viewed as ‘very significant’ and confirm that PoTS has a significant negative impact across all three occupational domains. In conclusion, PoTS has a significant negative impact upon occupation and is associated with considerable morbidity. With their understanding of the central role of occupation in wellbeing, occupational therapists may need to support people with PoTS in achieving a satisfying balance of occupations that will support their health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-144
JournalBritish Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


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