Course feedback: management of Proximal Interphalangeal Joint (PIPJ)

Leave a comment

December 3, 2016 by permanentred

Deepika Sharma recently attended a specialist hand therapy course and has sent us this wonderful summary. Deepika’s attendance on the course was part-funded by a life-long learning grant from the COT London Regional Committee.

You can find details of how to apply for a grant at the bottom of our regional web page:

This is a brief feedback about the hand therapy course that I attended in Sep’16. This is a British Association of Hand Therapists’ (BAHT) level 2 for the management of Proximal Interphalangeal Joint (PIPJ).

My role as a senior hand therapist requires me to undertake complex assessments and interventions with conditions involving hand and wrist. One of the learning outcomes of the course was to apply range of methods of assessing the PIPJ with understanding of the theory and practical aspects of potential treatments for specific problems related to PIPJ injuries / acquired conditions.  Our hand therapy department caters to a large borough of very diverse population with different ethnicity prone to variable predisposing factors such as hypermobility.  The clinical skills have therefore been invaluable to assess, particularly post traumatic conditions such as sports injuries by being aware of damage to potential anatomical structures and their timely management to prevent late deformity.

An in depth understanding of the impact on the PIPJ within common hand conditions / injuries such as arthritis and occupational related respectively has widened my skills and treatment modalities in order to fabricate a bespoke OT approach to meet specific needs of the clients and be an autonomous practitioner.

One of the most important aspect of OT treatment is to be able to educate and advice the clients about the involved anatomy and pathology relevant to their symptoms, particularly in long term conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis. The learning about the biomechanics involved in instabilities and development of deformities around the PIPJ has been the most relevant addition to my current clinical practice as it has enabled me to facilitate patient’s compliance to the hand therapy treatment owing to appropriate education. Clients’ understanding of the above is significant for effective application of principles such as activity modification and work gradation in their day to day life. Effective treatment has opened clear lines of communication with the service users to successfully engage them eventually leading towards self-management of their conditions.

This learning opportunity integrated current research and evidence to support their teaching. In light of updated literature our hand therapy team has been able to review own practice guidelines and protocols. To disseminate the new information gained from the course we arranged discussions along with practical splinting sessions which have been of special importance to junior members of the team.

Within my organisation this CPD activity has not only facilitated development of positive partnerships across other departments but also with the hand consultants and the senior management ensuring professional growth and enhancing clinical excellence within the trust. One example of this liaison is, direct referral from A & E to hand therapy team to ensure timely and effective management of mallet injuries and improve patient pathways (currently under review within our trust).  This would positively influenced patient experience by facilitating seamless care across multiple professionals.

The skill gained from the course has given me confidence to appraise my own clinical practice such as triaging and prioritising the referrals on basis of sound clinical reasoning. Our hand therapy team has therefore taken initiatives such as benchmarking our service in accordance with national guidelines and policies.  To improve patient experience and treatment pathways we are also planning to set up education groups such as for joint protection in arthritis, which has been a direct result of this CPD activity.

I am very grateful to BAOT to assist me with this opportunity and I recommend this course to every therapist who is looking for furtherance of their hand therapy skills.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: