Current practice trends of oedema management in the hands of people with tetraplegia in Australia.Spinal Cord Ser Cases 2019; 5:71SC
Survey research design.
To describe current practice methods for oedema management in people with tetraplegia.
Online survey with open and closed questions regarding clinical practice trends in the assessment and treatment of oedema in the hands in people with tetraplegia.
Seventeen occupational therapists working in spinal cord injury (SCI) in Australia completed the survey. Oedema was identified by visual inspection (n = 17, 100%) and recorded using circumferential tape measurement (n = 13, 76%). Elevation was used by all participants in conjunction with compression gloves (n = 13, 76%), retrograde massage (n = 13, 76%), compression bandaging (n = 12, 71%) and the boxing glove splint (n = 9, 53%). Participants stated that oedema presented challenges to patients with difficulty exercising (n = 11, 65%), changes to body image (n = 5, 29%) and pain (n = 4, 24%).
Assessment and treatment practices were not consistent. Oedema in the hands in people with tetraplegia was perceived to have various impacts on a person's rehabilitation and hand function. The findings highlight the need for research evidence to guide practice.