OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to review the evidence regarding the effectiveness of splinting for carpometacarpal osteoarthritis.
METHODS. A systematic review was conducted. Clinical considerations, occupational therapy exemplars, and further research questions were identified.
RESULTS. There was fair evidence for the effectiveness of splinting to relieve pain and improve function. There was no clear evidence of the superiority of one type of splint over another for pain relief, comfort, or function. Patient preference regarding type of splint varied.
CONCLUSIONS. Research to date indicates that splinting may help relieve pain in persons with carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Further investigation is recommended using controlled methodology, more thorough reporting of outcomes, and tracking of analgesic use.