AJOT CE: Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review
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Publisher: AOTA Continuing Education

Published: 2016

Basic Member Price
Non-Member Price: $24.99

Product Overview

Earn CE Credit With AJOT Articles!

Learn about tested treatment strategies by reading AJOT articles in your area of practice. Become an evidence-based practitioner and demonstrate your knowledge by passing the course exam.  Articles have been selected for their relevance to practice, fresh ideas, and strong evidence supporting treatment and the distinct value of OT.

Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)




This study reviewed the efficacy of occupational therapy–related interventions for adults with rheumatoid arthritis. We examined 51 Level I studies (19 physical activity, 32 psychoeducational) published 2000– 2014 and identified from five databases. Interventions that focused solely on the upper or lower extremities were not included. Findings related to key outcomes (activities of daily living, ability, pain, fatigue, depression, self-efficacy, disease symptoms) are presented. Strong evidence supports the use of aerobic exercise, resistive exercise, and aquatic therapy. Mixed to limited evidence supports dynamic exercise, Tai Chi, and yoga. Among the psychoeducation interventions, strong evidence supports the use of patient education, self-management, cognitive–behavioral approaches, multidisciplinary approaches, and joint protection, and limited or mixed evidence supports the use of assistive technology and emotional disclosure. The evidence supports interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice for rheumatoid arthritis, but few interventions were occupation based.



Patricia Siegel, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, is Lecturer II, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Melissa Tencza, MOTS, is Student, Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.


Learning Objectives

1.      List symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and effect on occupational performance

2.      Describe the types of occupational-therapy related interventions that are used for adults with rheumatoid arthritis

3.      Explain the efficacy of occupational therapy-related interventions for adults with rheumatoid arthritis and implications for OT practice and research 

Learning Level: Intermediate

Target Audience: Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants

Content Focus: Category 1: Domain of OT; Category 2: OT Process: Intervention


Reference Information:

Siegel, P., Tencza, M., Apodaca, B., & Poole, J. L. (2017). Effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for adults with rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71, 7101180050. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.023176