Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The effectiveness of home hand exercise programmes in rheumatoid arthritis : a systematic review

Hammond, A; Prior, Y



Introduction: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) commonly reduces hand function. We systematically reviewed trials to investigate effects of home hand exercise programmes on hand symptoms and function in RA.
Sources of Data: We searched: Medline (1946-), AMED, CINAHL, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, OT Seeker, the Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science from inception to January 2016.
Areas of Agreement: Nineteen trials were evaluated. Only three were randomised controlled trials with low risk of bias (n=665). Significant short-term improvements occurred in hand function, pain and grip strength, with long term improvements in hand and upper limb function and pinch strength.
Areas of controversy: Heterogeneity of outcome measures meant meta-analysis was not possible.
Growing Points: Evaluation of low and moderate risk of bias trials indicated high intensity home hand exercise programmes lead to better short-term outcomes than low intensity programmes. Such programmes are cost-effective.
Areas timely for developing research: Further research is needed to evaluate methods of helping people with RA maintain home hand exercise long-term.


Hammond, A., & Prior, Y. (2016). The effectiveness of home hand exercise programmes in rheumatoid arthritis : a systematic review. British Medical Bulletin, 119(1), 49-62.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 3, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2016
Publication Date Sep 9, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 29, 2017
Journal British Medical Bulletin
Print ISSN 0007-1420
Electronic ISSN 1471-8391
Publisher Oxford University Press
Volume 119
Issue 1
Pages 49-62
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs


Hand exercises review Brit Med Bull AHammond 22.4.16 Author Accepted Manuscript.pdf (1 Mb)

You might also like

Downloadable Citations