Joanna Bell, Marion Gray, Gail Kingston
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Vol. 18, Iss. 7, 06 Jul 2011, pp 370 - 382

Aims: This article describes a study exploring the longer term functional impact of a traumatic hand injury on people residing in a regional metropolitan Australian location.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional retrospective survey was sent to adult patients who received treatment for a traumatic hand injury from the occupational therapy clinic at a regional Australian hospital, 1-4 years post injury (n=498). The Upper Extremity Functional Index was included in the survey.
Findings: Over 90% of respondents reported having ongoing residual difficulties. Participants indicated that the most affected areas were work and leisure. Almost half the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the exercises 'hurt too much to do' (46%) and that they 'did not have enough time' to do exercises (34.5%).
Conclusions: This study emphasized notable longer term impact of a traumatic hand injury on people residing in a metropolitan Australian location; especially in the areas of work and leisure. Findings indicate the need for some change in the delivery of rehabilitation programmes in an Australian regional metropolitan context. Holistic consideration of factors which may influence outcomes will improve rehabilitation programmes and, in turn, overall quality of life for individuals who sustain a traumatic hand injury.

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