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J Rehabil Med. 2014 Jun;46(6):481-92. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1804.

The effectiveness of working wrist splints in adults with rheumatoid arthritis: a mixed methods systematic review.

Author information

1
Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT), School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, , Shore Road , BT370QB UK, United Kingdom. l.ramsey@ulster.ac.uk.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness of working wrist splints in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SELECTION:

This review adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Ten databases were searched from inception until September 2012 for quantitative and qualitative studies on the effectiveness of working wrist splints in rheumatoid arthritis.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Data was extracted on participants, interventions, outcome measures and results. Experimental studies were evaluated using the van Tulder scale and the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Data was extracted by a single reviewer and all studies were reviewed by two blind reviewers.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Twenty-three studies were included in the review (n = 1,492), 13 experimental studies including 9 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 2 qualitative studies. Data was summarized using best evidence synthesis and a meta-ethnographical approach guided qualitative evidence synthesis. There is strong quantitative evidence (including 9 RCTs), supported by conclusions from qualitative literature, that working wrist splints reduce pain (d = 0.7-0.8), moderate evidence that grip strength is improved (d = 0.3-0.4) and dexterity impaired and insufficient evidence of their effect on function.

CONCLUSIONS:

Working wrist splints reduce pain and improve grip in rheumatoid arthritis. The effect of splints on function is not yet clear.

PMID:
24715196
DOI:
10.2340/16501977-1804
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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