My name is Ana Aragon, and I am an Independent Occupational Therapist.
I am registered (using my full name N.D. Aragon) with the UK Health Professions Council, and am a member of the British Association and Royal College of Occupational Therapists and their Specialist Section for Neurological Practice. I am also a member of Parkinson’s UK and a member of The International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society.
In the summer of 1989 I was awarded my Diploma in Occupational Therapy, after 3 years full-time study at St Andrews College of Occupational Therapy in Northampton, UK. Since then, I have worked as an Occupational Therapist, initially spending 8 years working in acute hospital settings with in-patients across many departments and specialities. From 1996 until 2007 I worked in Bath, Somerset in an out-patient clinic providing a multi-disciplinary specialist movement disorders service led by a Geriatrician and General Physician with particular interest in Parkinson’s and movement disorders. Under this wise leadership, I provided assessment and rehabilitation services for over 700 people with Parkinson’s and related Parkinsonian disorders. I was fortunate throughout that time to be encouraged and assisted by my mentor to study the vast evidence-base of published research about Parkinson’s and to visit a pioneering specialist Parkinson’s service, based at The Kingston Centre in Melbourne, Australia, early in 1998. That visit initially inspired my interest in the theory and practice of ‘Cognitive and Sensory Rehabilitation Strategies’ for people with Parkinson's. As a result, I have become increasingly involved in learning more and in sharing what I learn by teaching about Parkinson’s.
Between 2009 and early 2016 I developed and then led a Master of Science Degree Course about Parkinson’s for Healthcare Professionals, as an Associate Senior Lecturer for Leeds Beckett University. The 4-year online part-time course was part of a set of courses about long-term neurological conditions. These courses, although popular with students based both in the UK and all around the world, were discontinued in 2011 when new admissions of students to the courses about Stroke, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s was ended.
I now work independently, mainly in teaching roles, and collaborate on various other health-related projects such as National Best Practice Guidance for Occupational Therapists. Over many years I have worked in various ways for Parkinson's UK (a national support and research charity) to help develop learning resources for Allied Health Professionals, for people with Parkinson's and others. I stay in touch with people living with Parkinson’s mostly by volunteering at regular drop-in sessions hosted by a local branch of Parkinson’s UK.
My Published WorkPeer reviewed journal articles
Jelka Jansa & Ana Aragon (2015) Living with Parkinson’s and the Emerging Role of Occupational Therapy. Parkinson's Disease, Vol 3, pp.1-8.
Jelka Jansa, Ana Aragon & Åsa Lundgren-Nilsson (2011) How People Living with Parkinson's Disease in Four European Countries View Occupational Therapy. European Neurological Journal, Vol 3, Issue1 pp.1-8.
Charmaine Meek, Eric Morgan, Marion F. Walker, Alexandra Furmston, Ana Aragon, Angela Birleson, Vicky Kelly, Carl E. Clarke & Catherine M. Sackley. (2010) Occupational Therapy to Optimise Independence in Parkinson's Disease: The Designing and Recording of a Randomised Controlled Trial Intervention. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol 73, Issue 4, pp.178 - 185.
Contributions to book chapters
A.Aragon, et al. in J.Preston & J.Edmans Eds. (2016) Occupational Therapy and Neurological Conditions. Paperback with 232 pages, published by Wiley Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN: 978-1-118-93611-5
Aragon, Kings & Playford, in Chapter 7, The role of Occupational Therapy in the rehabilitation of people with movement disorders, pp. 69 - 80 in, Morris & Iansek Eds. (2013) Rehabilitation in Movement Disorders. Hardback with 268 pages, Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1107014008
Dorothy Robertson, Ana Aragon, Gay Moore & Liz Whelan in Rehabilitation and the interdisciplinary team, in Playfer & Hindle Eds. (2008) Parkinson’s Disease in the Older Patient, 2nd edition. Hardback with 410 pages, Radcliffe Publishing, Oxford. ISBN: 978-1846191145
Contributor of the section about Parkinson's disease in Occupational
Therapy and Physical Dysfunction: Principles, Skills and Practice in
Turner, Foster and Johnson Eds. (2002) Churchill Livingstone, London.
Best Practice Guides
Ana Aragon and Jill Kings (2018) Occupational therapy for people with Parkinson's Second Edition. Royal College of Occupational Therapists, London ISBN 978-1-905944-72-9
Aragon A. & Kings J. (2010) Occupational Therapy for People with Parkinson’s: Best practice guidelines. London, Specialist Section Neurological Practice, College of Occupational Therapists, London in Collaboration with Parkinson’s UK. ISBN: 978195-944163
Guideline development group deputy
member on behalf of the College of Occupational Therapists for: NICE (2006) Parkinson’s
Disease: National clinical Guideline for diagnosis and management in primary
and secondary care. Royal College of Physicians, London. ISBN:
This course is based on my experience of talking with and teaching people living with Parkinson’s, their families and friends. As well as experience teaching a wide variety of Physicians and Allied Health Professionals, and others who work with people with Parkinson’s in other roles - for instance, Care Home staff. I have also contributed to the journal articles, books, national Parkinson's guideline development projects listed above. I have contributed to Occupational Therapy for Parkinson's research, led Masterclasses and have presented at numerous training events and conferences around the UK, and at the Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society's International Congress in Sydney, Australia. Building on these various perspectives, I have designed and created A Map of Parkinson’s over a period of more than 3 years.