Paula Christine Bohr; Systematic Review and Analysis of Work-Related Injuries to and Conditions of the Elbow. Am J Occup Ther 2011;65(1):24–28. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.09185
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This systematic review of literature examines and synthesizes research findings related to interventions for people with work-related elbow injuries, particularly epicondylitis. It was carried out as part of the Evidence-Based Literature Review Project of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The 11 articles included in this review suggest multiple approaches to intervention but do not provide sufficient evidence to determine which methods or approaches are best practice. Research has provided little evidence to support the use of commonly prescribed interventions for epicondylitis, the most frequently reported work-related elbow injury. Collectively, the evidence to support the use of splinting, exercise, or physical agent modalities is weak and provides little guidance for approaching management of elbow injuries. The implications for education and research are discussed, as is the application of the evidence to clinical practice in occupational therapy.
Investigating whether the functional outcomes from the use of modalities to relieve symptoms of elbow injuries warrant their inclusion in occupational therapy treatment protocols
Designing and implementing functional outcome studies to measure the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for clients with work-related injuries
Comparing and contrasting early intervention strategies for acute symptoms of elbow injuries with later traditional interventions to determine whether early intervention facilitates a quicker return to life activities and reduces overall medical expenses
Designing and implementing intervention studies that directly relate the use of preparatory methods to functional outcomes
Defining timelines for measurement and, perhaps, classifying splints to provide a stronger basis for evaluating effectiveness
Comparing the use of pure exercise with participation in functional activities to determine whether the different approaches result in similar functional outcomes, time needed to return to work, or total medical costs.
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