• How do hand therapists conservatively manage acute, closed mallet finger? A survey of members of the British Association of Hand Therapists.

      Cook, Samantha; Daniels, Nikki; Woodbridge, Sarah; Barnsley Hospital; University of Derby; Physiotherapy Department, Barnsley Hospital, Barnsley, UK; College of Health and Social Care, University of Derby, Derby, UK; College of Health and Social Care, University of Derby, Derby, UK (Sage, 2016-08-13)
      Introduction Previous research concerning the conservative management of mallet finger has focused on splint application, with limited representation of supplementary rehabilitation and best practice. This research sought to investigate the practice and opinions of members of the British Association of Hand Therapists regarding their current treatment and to determine whether any specific exercise prescription or rehabilitation protocols are followed. Methods British Association of Hand Therapists members were contacted via e-mail and requested to complete an online survey. Thirty-five responses (5.7% response rate), 30 (4.8% response rate) of which were fully completed were obtained over the eight-week data collection period. The questionnaire consisted of 30 questions (20 quantitative and 10 qualitative) concerning therapists’ roles and condition management. Responses were analysed in terms of response frequencies, percentages and thematic text analysis. Results The results demonstrated current clinical practices in line with available best-evidenced practice. Conservative therapeutic management is diverse and varied. Therapists believe their role to be significant in optimising outcome success. Discussion Exercises and other interventions supplementary to splinting are commonly utilised in the therapeutic management of acute, closed mallet finger. This research found hand therapists implement a diverse range of clinical skills in order to optimise outcome success. Recommendations for best practice and further research are presented.