Expanding the Treatment Team: What Is the Role for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Wound Care, and Nutritional Support in Systemic Sclerosis?

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2023 May;49(2):377-387. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2023.01.009. Epub 2023 Mar 1.


The optimal systemic sclerosis (SSc) care plan includes an occupational therapist and physical therapist as well as wound care experts and a registered dietitian if indicated. Screening instruments for functional and work disability, hand and mouth limitations, malnutrition, and dietary intake can identify the need for ancillary support services. Telemedicine can assist in developing effective ancillary treatment plans. Reimbursement for services may limit access for patients with SSc to expand their care team but a focus on prevention rather than management of damage is recognized as an important unmet need in SSc. In this review, the role of a comprehensive care team for SSc is discussed.

Keywords: Nutrition; Occupational therapy; Physical therapy; Systemic sclerosis; Wound care.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Malnutrition* / diagnosis
  • Malnutrition* / therapy
  • Nutritional Support
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / therapy