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Scand J Occup Ther. 2013 Mar;20(2):143-51. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2012.748823. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Progress and prediction of occupational performance in women with distal radius fractures: a one-year follow-up.

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  • 1VIA University College, Department of Occupational Therapy in Aarhus, Denmark.


Abstract To describe the occupational performance and pain during the first year after a distal radius fracture, an observational follow-up study was performed among 37 mainly elderly Danish women. They were assessed at cast removal and reassessed at three and 12 months post-injury with COPM, DASH, and validated questions on pain. The number of performance problems fell from median 18 at cast removal to median 3 at 12 months. COPM performance and satisfaction scores improved significantly to 8.6 and 9.2 at 12 months. Also the DASH score improved significantly to 14.2 at 12 months. The largest improvements in occupational performance and disability took place within the first three months. Pain decreased significantly during the follow-up period. In spite of these positive results, at 12 months 78% of the women still had performance problems and 62% still had some degree of pain due to the fracture. At cast removal, a number of ≥10 performance problems at 12 months could be predicted in women with ≥20 performance problems (RR 2.41) or with a pain intensity described as "moderate" or worse (RR 3.71). The findings of this study suggest that occupational therapy services might still be of relevance perhaps as follow-up sessions through the first year post-injury.

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