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Research Article  |   July 1997
The Use of Low-Load Prolonged Stretch Devices in Rehabilitation Programs in the Pacific Northwest
Author Affiliations
  • Barbara A. Nuismer, MOT, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist for NovaCare in a skilled nursing facility, Auburn, Washington. At the time of this study, she was Occupational Therapy Student, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington
  • Ann M. Ekes, MEd, PT, is Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy, The University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington
  • Margo B. Holm, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, College Misericordia, Dallas, Pennsylvania, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Research
Research Article   |   July 1997
The Use of Low-Load Prolonged Stretch Devices in Rehabilitation Programs in the Pacific Northwest
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1997, Vol. 51, 538-543. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.7.538
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1997, Vol. 51, 538-543. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.7.538
Abstract

Objective. This retrospective study examined the use of low-load prolonged stretch (LLPS) orthoses for contracture management.

Method. The records of 17 patients from skilled nursing facilities, hand clinics, and hospitals were reviewed. There was a total of 18 contractures (2 wrist, 12 elbow, 4 knee) secondary to neurological and orthopedic pathologies. Chart review focused on patient demographic information, range of motion (ROM) and functional outcomes, and wear schedules.

Results. The use of LLPS orthoses significantly increased ROM for the whole sample, which in turn significantly improved the subjects functional outcomes. When the sample was divided into two pathology groups to compare a predominately geriatric population with neurological pathologies to a somewhat younger population with a history of musculoskeletal pathology, both groups showed a significant gain in ROM with the use of the LLPS orthoses.

Conclusion. Use of LLPS orthoses for contracture management can mediate the losses in ROM and function that occur with joint contractures.