Essay Rheumatoid Arthritis

1751 Words May 4th, 2002 8 Pages
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic syndrome that is characterized by inflammation of the peripheral joints, but it may also involve the lungs, heart, blood vessels, and eyes. The prevalence of this autoimmune disease is between 0.3% to 1.5% of the population in the United States (Feinberg, pp 815). It affects women two to three times more often than men, and the onset of RA is usually between 25 and 50 years of age, but it can occur at any age (Reed, pp 584). RA can be diagnosed by establishing the presence of persistent joint pain, swelling in a symmetric distribution, and prolonged morning stiffness. RA usually affects multiple joints, such as the hands, wrists, knees, elbows, feet, shoulders, hips, and small
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Some assessment tests that can be done to determine areas of occupational dysfunction important to the person are the Canadian Occupational Performance (COPM) interview, the Robinson Bashall Functional Assessment, the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire, the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS), manual muscle tests, the goniometer, and the dynamometer and pinch meter (Hammond, pp 257). The Robinson Bashall Functional Assessment, as well as the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire, is a functional assessment that allows the therapist to get a better understanding of the practical capabilities of patients that are suffering from RA. The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills allows an accurate estimate of ability to do IADLs based on performance of three tasks.
Treatment addresses the problems identified by evaluation of the patient, and often are guided by the progression of the disease. Some specific goals to work on with an individual with RA may be to maintain joint mobility, prevent joint deformity, maintain or increase strength and functional ability, balancing activity with rest, develop problem-solving skills to modify daily activities at home and at work to protect joints and preserve energy, and especially promote psychosocial adaptations to deal with their chronic disability. (Pisetsky, 2789).
There are various drugs to treat RA and can be divided into four different classes. These classes are nonsteroidal
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