Kroon Efficacy and safety of nonpharmacological, pharmacological and surgical treatment for hand osteoarthritis: a systematic literature review informing the 2018 update of the EULAR recommendations for the management of hand osteoarthritis. RMD Open, 4(2), p.e000734. (Systematic review)
To update the evidence on efficacy and safety of non-pharmacological, pharmacological and surgical interventions for hand osteoarthritis (OA), a systematic literature review was performed up to June 2017, including (randomised) controlled trials or Cochrane systematic reviews. Main efficacy outcomes were pain, function and hand strength. Risk of bias was assessed. Meta-analysis was performed when advisable. Of 7036 records, 127 references were included, of which 50 studies concerned non-pharmacological, 64 pharmacological and 12 surgical interventions. Many studies had high risk of bias, mainly due to inadequate randomisation or blinding. Beneficial non-pharmacological treatments included hand exercise and prolonged thumb base splinting, while single trials showed positive results for joint protection and using assistive devices. Topical and oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) proved equally effective, while topical NSAIDs led to less adverse events. Single trials demonstrated positive results for chondroitin sulfate and intra-articular glucocorticoid injections in interphalangeal joints. Pharmacological treatments for which no clear beneficial effect was shown include paracetamol, intra-articular thumb base injections of glucocorticoids or hyaluronic acid, low-dose oral glucocorticoids, hydroxychloroquine and anti-tumour necrosis factor. No trials compared surgery to sham or non-operative treatment. No surgical intervention for thumb base OA appeared more effective than another, although in general more complex procedures led to more complications. No interventions slowed radiographic progression. In conclusion, an overview of the evidence on efficacy and safety of treatment options for hand OA was presented and informed the task force for the updated European League Against Rheumatism management recommendations for hand OA.
Discipline Area Score
Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) 6 / 7
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Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

An update of the literature shows the paucity of the quality and methodologic characteristics in this area.
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