Research Article  |   December 2016
Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review
Author Affiliations
  • Patricia Siegel, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, is Lecturer II, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Melissa Tencza, MOTS, is Student, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Beverly Apodaca, MOTS, is Student, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Janet L. Poole, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor and Program Director, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; jpoole@salud.unm.edu
Article Information
Arthritis / Assistive Technology / Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Evidence-Based Practice / Mental Health / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Rheumatoid Arthritis / Special Issue: Evidence Review
Research Article   |   December 2016
Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2016, Vol. 71, 7101180050p1-7101180050p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023176
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2016, Vol. 71, 7101180050p1-7101180050p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023176
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We reviewed the efficacy of occupational therapy–related interventions for adults with rheumatoid arthritis.

METHOD. We examined 51 Level I studies (19 physical activity, 32 psychoeducational) published 2000–2014 and identified from five databases. Interventions that focused solely on the upper or lower extremities were not included.

RESULTS. Findings related to key outcomes (activities of daily living, ability, pain, fatigue, depression, self-efficacy, disease symptoms) are presented. Strong evidence supports the use of aerobic exercise, resistive exercise, and aquatic therapy. Mixed to limited evidence supports dynamic exercise, Tai Chi, and yoga. Among the psychoeducation interventions, strong evidence supports the use of patient education, self-management, cognitive–behavioral approaches, multidisciplinary approaches, and joint protection, and limited or mixed evidence supports the use of assistive technology and emotional disclosure.

CONCLUSION. The evidence supports interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice for rheumatoid arthritis, but few interventions were occupation based.