Occupational Therapy Is Not Effective in Early RA

Published Online: Monday, March 1, 2004

Occupational therapy does not serve any functional benefits for individuals in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggest the results of a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (January 2004). A goal of occupational therapy for RA is to help patients maintain hand function. Although this type of therapy has been shown to be helpful in people who have had RA for 8 to 10 years, it is uncertain whether this type of intervention is beneficial to patients in the early stages.

Even with the uncertainty, there has been action toward giving occupational therapy and education to patients with early RA, the report said. To investigate the effectiveness of such a strategy, the researchers studied 300 participants who had been diagnosed with RA for <2.5 years. The participants were randomly assigned to receive conventional treatment with or without occupational therapy. On average, the participants in the occupational therapy group received >7 hours of such therapy.

At the end of the 2-year study, participants in the occupational therapy group were more apt to "selfmanage" their disease. The researchers, however, did not see any significant differences between the groups in terms of health status. They suggest several explanations, such as that the medications used to treat RA may have "erased" any of the positive benefits of occupational therapy early in the RA process.



Latest Articles
Pharmacists might be surprised to learn that Pinterest is a hotbed for anti-vaccine sentiment.
The FDA has approved betamethasone dipropionate spray, 0.05%, as a treatment for mild to moderate plaque psoriasis in patients aged 18 years and older.
Medication errors injure thousands of patients annually, and while mistakes occur with all medication classes, those involving antiretroviral therapies are particularly troublesome.
Acute respiratory infections such as the common cold are often accompanied by cough and congestion caused by mucus hypersecretion.
Latest Issues
$auto_registration$
VSEO N/A