Rehabilitation in rheumatoid arthritis: a critical review

Hammond, A ORCID: 2004, 'Rehabilitation in rheumatoid arthritis: a critical review' , Musculoskeletal Care, 2 (3) , p. 135.

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This article considers the evidence for effectiveness and timing of rehabilitation for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The Cochrane Library, DARE, Medline, Embase, CINAHL and AMED were searched to identify systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials evaluating rehabilitation interventions for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Many trials identified had methodological limitations (e.g. short follow-up periods, small sample sizes). Evidence to date is that symptomatic relief results from thermotherapy, laser therapy, acupuncture and assistive devices. In the short-term, comprehensive occupational therapy (in established rheumatoid arthritis), orthoses, and mind–body approaches can help maintain function. Over at least a one-year period, the following are effective in reducing pain and maintaining function: patient education and joint protection training using behavioural approaches; dynamic exercise therapy, hand exercises and hydrotherapy; and cognitive-behavioural therapy (in people with poorer psychological status). Many trials have recruited people with moderate to severe, established RA and relatively little is known about the long-term effectiveness of early rehabilitation, although this is becoming much more common in practice. Despite the increased availability of guidelines and systematic reviews, most conclude there is insufficient evidence for many areas of rheumatology rehabilitation. Further well-designed clinical trials are needed recruiting people with early disease using patient-centred outcomes. Copyright © 2004 Whurr Publishers Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Musculoskeletal Care
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1478-2189
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2010 10:47
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:29

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