Spicka, C., Macleod, C., Adams, J. and Metcalf, Cheryl
Effect of silver ring splints on hand dexterity and grip strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: an observational pilot study
Hand Therapy, 14, (2), . (doi:10.1258/ht.2009.009012).
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Background. Deformities of the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPJ) of the hand are common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Three-point ring splints are one of several conservative options for treating such deformities.
Methods. This observational pilot study assessed the impact of PIPJ silver ring splints (SRS) on dexterity and handgrip strength in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.
Dexterity and handgrip were measured using two standardized outcome tools, the Nine Hole Peg Test and the MIE digital grip analyser. Eight individuals who routinely wore individually tailored SRS from one rheumatology occupational therapy department were recruited into the study. Hand dexterity and grip strength was tested with and without the SRS in situ.
Results. Although differences in bilateral dexterity and handgrip strength results did not reach statistical significance (P > 0.05) in this sample, there was a trend for dexterity and grip strength to slightly improve when SRS were worn.
Conclusions. Further research is needed to evaluate the effect of SRS on hand function especially its long-term effect on deformities.
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