Research Article  |   January 2014
Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy–Related Interventions for People With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Author Affiliations
  • Marian Arbesman, PhD, OTR/L, is Consultant, Evidence-Based Practice Project, American Occupational Therapy Association, Bethesda, MD; President, ArbesIdeas, Inc., 19 Hopkins Road, Williamsville, NY 14221; and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York; ma@ArbesIdeas.com
  • Kendra Sheard, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, University of Virginia Transitional Care Hospital and Richard R. Dart ALS Clinic, Charlottesville, VA
Article Information
Assistive Technology / Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Evidence-Based Practice / Multidisciplinary Practice / Neurologic Conditions / Special Issue on Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy—Related Interventions for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Research Article   |   January 2014
Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy–Related Interventions for People With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2014, Vol. 68, 20-26. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.008649
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2014, Vol. 68, 20-26. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.008649
Abstract

We describe the results of a systematic review of the literature on occupational therapy–related interventions for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The review included 14 studies. We found limited to moderate evidence that people involved in multidisciplinary programs have longer survival than those in general care and limited evidence that those in multidisciplinary programs have a higher percentage of appropriate assistive devices and higher quality of life in social functioning and mental health. Limited evidence indicates that people with ALS are satisfied with the comfort and ease of use of their power wheelchairs (PWCs). In addition, limited evidence is available that PWCs allow people to have increased interaction in the community. Evidence also is limited that some assistive devices are more helpful than others. Moderate evidence indicates that a home exercise program of daily stretching and resistance exercise results in improved function. The implications for practice, education, and research are discussed.