Date of Award


Document Status

Open Access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dianna Lunsford

Second Advisor

Jeanine Beasley

Third Advisor

Claudia Leiras


Objective: De Quervain’s tenosynovitis (DQ) is a painful condition characterized by pain and inflammation at the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. This condition affects the wrist and thumb, and generally decreases an individual’s performance and engagement in daily occupations. Conservative management with occupational therapy (OT) can assist to diminish the associated symptoms and facilitate recovery of function; however, it is unclear what interventions are the most effective. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of conservative OT interventions for individuals diagnosed with DQ.

Study Design: An exploratory retrospective review of 148 de­‐identified electronic medical records provided by a national rehabilitation organization was performed investigating applied OT interventions, and their outcomes for patients diagnosed with DQ. Initial and discharge outcome scores from pain and function assessments were analyzed to determine change pre and post treatment.

Results: Therapeutic exercise revealed a statistically significant change from initial to discharge scores of pain with activity as measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) (p= .038). In addition, 92.9% of patients who received orthotic training/management during the course of treatment clinically improved in pain with activity as indicated by the VAS.

Conclusion: Therapeutic exercise may improve pain caused by DQ. Orthotic training/management may also be beneficial for improving pain during activity in patients with DQ. Further research is necessary with more detailed information regarding each treatment utilized, in order to provide further clinical insight for occupational therapists regarding improvement of pain and function in patients with DQ.

Level of Evidence: 4.