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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


TEUCHERT, Robyn et al. Occupational therapy intervention into Osteo-Arthritis of the Carpometacarpal joint of the thumb in the South African context. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2017, vol.47, n.1, pp.41-45. ISSN 2310-3833.

INTRODUCTION: The carpometacarpal joint (CMCJ) plays a pivotal role in thumb range of motion and positioning and thus essentially, hand function. This study investigated the intervention approach that was preferred in occupational therapy for osteoarthritis (OA) of the CMCJ as well as the factors that affect the course of intervention in the South African context. METHODOLOGY: A descriptive qualitative research design was implemented with a purposive sample of occupational therapists in the Western Cape. Data was gathered using semi-structured interviews which were transcribed and analysed. FINDINGS: Participants interviewed in this study did not follow a fixed intervention regime. The four themes that emerged were: The content of the occupational therapy referral, aspects concerning the patient, assessment practices and intervention practices. Findings demonstrated that it would not be practical to set up a rigid regime, due to the diverse presentation of OA of the CMCJ of the thumb as well as the contributing factors participants reported to impact on course of intervention. CONCLUSION: The focus of occupational therapy should be on treating the symptoms of OA of the CMCJ in addition to occupational performance. The compilation of basic guidelines is proposed to provide meaningful intervention within the South African context

Keywords : Carpometacarpal joint; thumb; osteoarthritis; occupational therapy intervention; guideline.

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