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Research Article  |   March 2004
Adaptation to Hand Injury: An Evolving Experience
Author Affiliations
  • Josephine Chan, PhD, OTR, CHT, is Associate Professor, Hand Therapy Fellowship Coordinator, School of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University, 1130 John Freeman Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030; schan@twu.edu
  • Jean Spencer, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University, Houston, Texas
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Occupational Adaptation
Research Article   |   March 2004
Adaptation to Hand Injury: An Evolving Experience
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2004, Vol. 58, 128-139. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.2.128
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2004, Vol. 58, 128-139. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.2.128
Abstract

OBJECTIVES. Objectives of this study were to examine similarities and differences in physical recovery and psychosocial adaptation, engagement in occupations and relationships, perceived outcomes and expectations, and adaptive issues and strategies of 5 participants from an ongoing longitudinal study of adaptation to hand injury.

METHODS. Participants were tracked for 12 months using quantitative measures of physical recovery and psychosocial adaptation, and qualitative adaptation interviews focused on the impact of an injury experience in clients’ daily lives. A computerized graphic format documented changes over time in key quantitative and qualitative indicators in individual Adaptation Trajectories.

RESULTS. Findings included the importance of motivating occupations and relationships, changes over time in expectations for the future, and differences between independent and interdependent adaptive strategies following hand injury.

DISCUSSION. Connections between the International Classification of Functioning and Disability domains of body systems, activity capabilities, and social participation were examined. Findings support the value of individualized, occupation-based therapy that addresses the mind and spirit as well as physical recovery in occupational therapy practice with hand injury clients.