Effects of occupational therapy home service on patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Lancet. 1991 Jun 15;337(8755):1453-6. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)93138-y.


Because there is little information about the efficacy of home occupational therapy, we decided to assess the effects of a home service on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 105 patients aged 18-70 years, on stable medical therapy, were randomised to receive a 6-week comprehensive programme of occupational therapy (experimental group, 53 patients) or to receive no such treatment (control group, 52). At 6 weeks, control patients received the experimental regimen, and experimental patients were continued on treatment as needed up to 12 weeks. Outcomes were measured at baseline, 6, and 12 weeks with a global functional capacity score (functional score). At 6 weeks the functional score for the experimental group was significantly higher than that for the control group (mean difference = 8.1, 95% Cl 1.7 to 15.8, p = 0.012). Control patients at 12 weeks showed a similar improvement to experimental patients at 6 weeks, and between 6 and 12 weeks the experimental patients were stable. Occupational therapy leads to a statistically significant and clinically important improvement in function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / rehabilitation*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Occupational Therapy / standards
  • Ontario
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Time Factors