Sep 1 / Niccole Rowe, BA, COTA/L

New Research Supports Using Coping Lists with Total Knee Arthroplasty

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I work PRN in acute care and often see clients who have had total knee arthroplasty. If you work in SNF or acute care, you know that one of the biggest factors when working with someone who has had a TKA is how manageable the client feels their pain is.

I am always looking for treatments and approaches to grow my ability to address pain with any client. I recently found a study by Hara, Hiraga, and Hirakawa (2022) that targeted pain management for clients post-TKA. This study showed some promising results for using a coping list as part of OT treatment.
The study incorporated having the client identify coping strategies, situations to use the strategies in, and the result when those strategies were used. An OT practitioner provided this training post-operatively during two sessions. The study found this treatment to be effective to improve ADL performance, pain, psychological factors, and reported quality of life.

While the study was small, I found this exciting! I am already training clients in coping strategies, but I thought adding the format of a list as part of my treatments would help improve client carryover as well as help the client better determine what works best for them (with some facilitation from an OT or OTA). I can help the client recognize their own expertise in understanding themselves, what coping strategies they have used in the past, and then how to incorporate new strategies into their habits and routines.

Pain management is so important for our clients. I encourage you to review the study and consider incorporating a coping list into your practice. Adding this to your treatments would not take up a tremendous amount of time, but it could really impact your client’s ability to participate in OT treatment (and their occupations, more importantly!!).
Are you looking for more strategies to use with your clients? I highly recommend Aspire OT’s course, “Addressing Acute Pain through the Power of the Biopsychosocial Model”. The instructor Megan Doyle, MS, OTR/L, TPS, PSF, Cert-APHPT is nationally recognized in pain management and works at an inpatient rehab where she uses what she is teaching every day with clients. Even with some solid knowledge in pain management, I learned a lot from her course!

Occupational therapy continuing education courses that address pain management!

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