Occupational therapy intervention intosteo-arthritis of the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb in the South African context
CITATION: Teuchert, R. M., et al. 2017. Occupational therapy intervention intosteo-arthritis of the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb in the South African context. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 47(1):41-45, doi:10.17159/2310-3833/2017/v47n1a8
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Introduction: The carpometacarpal joint (CMCJ) plays a pivotal role in thumb function and essentially, hand function. Investigation concerning the most preferable occupational therapy treatment approach for osteoarthritis (OA) of the CMCJ was therefore indicated. Factors that affect the course of treatment in the South African context were to be identified. Methodology: A descriptive qualitative research design was implemented with a purposive sample of occupational therapists in the Western Cape. Semi-structured interviews were held. These were transcribed and analysed. Results: A fixed treatment regimen was not followed by participants of the study. Factors contributing to the choice of treatment emerged from the data. These included the source of the referral, aspects of the OT process and the patient. Results demonstrated that it would not be practical to set up a rigid regimen, due to the diverse nature by which OA of the CMCJ presents in patients as well as the contributing factors participants reported to impact intervention. Discussion: The compilation of a basic guideline is proposed. Each phase of the occupational therapy process according to the stage of OA of the CMCJ should be included to provide meaningful intervention. A proposed guideline is presented based on the results of the study.