Occupational Therapy Treatment of Chronic Pain and Use of Assistive Devices in Older AdultsBy Klinger, L; Spaulding, Sandi, PhD; Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 34-44
Publication Date: March 2001
Article discusses the occupational therapist's role in treating chronic pain, and the Assistive Technology (AT) used by older adults to cope. The most common causes of chronic pain are arthritis, musculoskeletal disease, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, and cancer. The role of the occupational therapist in the treatment of chronic pain is to enhance the patient's functioning in day-to-day tasks, either by reducing pain or by increasing the patient's tolerance of pain. AT is prescribed to prevent further impairment, compensate for limited range of motion, promote safety, and manage pain. The most common AT used are hygiene devices, such as bathtub boards and grab rails. Less common, but still widely used, are mobility devices, devices for grip/reaching, and devices used for transfer into and out of bed. A sample of 30 seniors with chronic pain due to lower extremity osteoarthritis was tested for pain and difficulty in functioning using the WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index. WOMAC is a self-administered questionnaire designed to measure pain, stiffness, and function in individuals with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Participants rated themselves as having significant chronic pain, and reported that they used their AT as a means of adapting to pain on a regular basis.
Published by: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins (Website:http://www.lww.com)
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