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January 2015

Ch. 42: Joint Protection: Enabling change in musculoskeletal conditions.

Hammond, A 2015 'Ch. 42: Joint Protection: Enabling change in musculoskeletal conditions.', in: International Handbook of Occupational Therapy Interventions, 2nd edition, Springer International, New York, USA, pp.607-618.



Abstract Joint protection includes applying ergonomic principles in daily life, altering working methods, using assistive devices, and modifying environments. It is taught to people with musculoskeletal conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), and soft tissue rheumatisms. Common principles are to: distribute load over several joints, reduce effort using assistive devices, pace activities, use orthoses, and exercise regularly. Cognitive-behavioural, self-efficacy, and motor-learning approaches are employed. Clinical trials demonstrate that using these approaches is significantly more effective than advice and demonstration alone in changing joint protection behaviour, improving self-efficacy, function, and reducing pain in both early and established RA and hand OA. There is still conflicting evidence for its effectiveness in soft tissue rheumatisms.


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Publication Details

Book/Publication Title
International Handbook of Occupational Therapy Interventions

2nd edition


Springer International
New York, USA.

13: 9783319081403.