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The status of hand therapy in Turkey

Hasan Atacan Tonak, Ali Kitis.

Abstract
Objectives: The aims of this study are; firstly, to investigate professional profiles and working conditions of hand therapists
who are the member of Hand Therapists Association (HTA) (El Terapistleri Derneši - ETD). Secondly, to put forward their
opinions on the field of hand rehabilitation assessment and treatment. Thirdly, to determine whether a standard treatment
protocol established in the hand therapists` applications.
Methods: This study was completed through a survey sent to member physiotherapists of ETD via electronic mail. The
survey consists of thirty-three questions prepared in the form of multiple-choice and open-ended. Questions are for determining
demographical information and searching for evaluation and treatment approaches used during interventions by
hand therapists.
Results: Evaluation methods were examined which became their standard in the rehabilitation of tendon injuries; it was
determined that 44 (93.6%) of them evaluate the range of motion, 34 (72.3%) of them evaluate the pain. It was determined
that Kleinert Protocol (n = 31, %70.5) was the most preferred method in post-operative rehabilitation program of flexor
tendon injuries and Controlled Active Movement Protocol (n = 31, %70.5) was the most preferred method in post-operative
rehabilitation program of extensor tendon injuries.
Conclusion: Like all over the world, in Turkey, the hand rehabilitation is one of the fields in which physiotherapist and occupational
therapists specialize in. The development of hand rehabilitation, more scientific and standardized evaluation and
treatment protocols are not yet completed. From this perspective, under nowadays` conditions learning evaluation and treatment
methods used by hand therapists is very important for developing the appropriate algorithm in hand rehabilitation field.

Key words: Hand, upper extremity, rehabilitation, hand injuries



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