Abstract

The objectives of this systematic review were (1) to identify, evaluate, and synthesize the research literature of relevance to occupational therapy regarding interventions for work-related shoulder conditions and (2) to interpret and apply the research literature to occupational therapy. Twenty-two studies were reviewed for this study—16 of Level I evidence, 2 of Level II evidence, and 4 of Level III evidence. In this systematic review, limited evidence from Level I studies was found to support exercise for shoulder pain; manual therapy and laser for adhesive capsulitis; conservative management of shoulder instability; early intervention without immobilization for specific, nondisplaced proximal humerus fractures; and exercise, joint mobilizations, and laser for patients with shoulder impingement. Further prospective studies are necessary for the delineation of specific surgical and therapeutic variables that facilitate positive outcomes in the treatment of patients with shoulder conditions.

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