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Research Article  |   February 1992
Hand Splinting in Quadriplegia: Current Practice
Author Affiliations
  • Sheila R. Krajnik, OTR, is Senior Occupational Therapist, Adult Rehabilitation Program, Blue Ridge Hospital, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Box 56, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
  • Mary J. Bridle, MA, OTR, is Senior Occupational Therapist, Adult Rehabilitation Program, Blue Ridge Hospital, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Box 56, Charlottesville, Virginia
Article Information
Splinting / Research
Research Article   |   February 1992
Hand Splinting in Quadriplegia: Current Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1992, Vol. 46, 149-156. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.2.149
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1992, Vol. 46, 149-156. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.2.149
Abstract

A mailed survey was conducted to collect information about the application of hand splints to patients with spinal cord injuries resulting in quadriplegia at levels C-5, C-6, C-7, and C-8. Survey respondents were occupational therapists in spinal cord injury centers nationwide. Frequency and descriptive statistics were collected concerning both static and dynamic splints, the clinical reasoning behind splint selection, and methods used for the evaluation of hand function. The results of the survey indicate that hand splinting is an accepted intervention for the target population. A variety of static splint designs were used, depending on level of injury, muscle strength, and the patient’s acceptance. The dynamic splint designs were used most frequently with patients whose lesions were at C-6 and C-7. The reasons for not splinting were primarily related to the patient’s compliance and acceptance. Observation of patients’ performance of functional tasks was the preferred method of evaluation of hand function, as there are no appropriate standardized tests available for this population.