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Research Article  |   February 1997
Educational Techniques Used in Occupational Therapy Treatment of Cumulative Trauma Disorders of the Elbow, Wrist, and Hand
Author Affiliations
  • Amy L. Lawler, MS, OTR, is Hand Therapist, Hand Therapy Specialists, 2330 NW Flanders, Suite G-1, Portland, Oregon 97210
  • Anne B. James, MS,OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, School of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, Division of Health Professions, University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut
  • George Tomlin, MS, OTR/L, is Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, School of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Education of OTs and OTAs / Research
Research Article   |   February 1997
Educational Techniques Used in Occupational Therapy Treatment of Cumulative Trauma Disorders of the Elbow, Wrist, and Hand
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1997, Vol. 51, 113-118. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.2.113
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1997, Vol. 51, 113-118. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.2.113
Abstract

Objective. This study examined patient education techniques used by occupational therapists when treating cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) of the elbow, wrist, and hand.

Method. A self-administered survey was sent to 232 registered occupational therapists whose primary area of practice was hand therapy. The questionnaire sought information about specific content areas and methods (i.e., media, format) used to educate patients about preventing the recurrence of CTDs in the elbow, wrist, and hand.

Results. One hundred twenty-eight therapists responded to the survey. A majority of respondent (n = 116) reported that patient education content areas consisted of anatomy of the joint, the CTD disease process, and job modification. Verbal instruction, illustrations, and pamphlets and handouts were the most frequently used forms of educational media. A majority of respondents (n = 111) also reported that individual interaction was the most common format of patient education.

Conclusion. The findings indicate that a majority of therapists use the same patient education techniques with regard to content areas, media, and format, regardless of the area being treated (i.e., elbow, wrist, hand). Furthermore, it appears that therapists with specialty training in CTDs more frequently include anatomy of the elbow, job modification, and proper body mechanics in the content of their patient education about the elbow.