Rheumatoid Arthritis Essay

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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 hand joints. RA is…show more content…
Lastly, there are radiographic erosions and/or Perarticular osteopenia in hand and/or wrist joints (Ryan, pp 57). Diagnosing and treating rheumatoid arthritis is a team effort between the patient and several types of health care professionals. When assessing a patient with RA, the professional should be looking at their activities of daily living, productivity skills and interests, leisure skills and interests, active and passive range of motion, muscle strength, hand functions, endurance, and cognitive features. Some psychosocial areas to be aware of are self-concept, coping skills, interpersonal and social skills, communication skills, and support systems. Occupational therapy for an individual with RA will help the patient understand his or her disease and its effects on his or her life. The Occupational therapist will help the patient to improve his or her ability to perform daily activities, prevent loss of function, and direct successful adaptation with the disease. The Occupational therapist will also help the patient to develop problem-solving skills needed to make adaptations throughout one's life. The Occupational therapist will also treat the physical and psychosocial difficulties that may limit the patient's occupational performance (Fienberg, pp 816). The Occupational Therapist will review, observe and interview the patient, as well as administrating screening tests,

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