On March 10, Janet Poole, PhD, OTR, professor of the occupational therapy graduate program at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, will continue the ARHP’s Audioconference/Webcast Series with the management of scleroderma. Dr. Poole received her BS in occupational therapy from Colorado State University, her MA degree in educational psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her PhD in motor learning/motor control from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Poole’s research interest is in scleroderma and the functional impact of the disease on the tasks of daily living, oral hygiene, parenting, and employment. She has conducted a number of studies examining rehabilitation interventions with people who have scleroderma and, with a colleague, is developing a self-management program for these patients. She has also authored several textbook chapters on rehabilitation for people with scleroderma.
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Dr. Poole’s first introduction to patients with scleroderma started as an occupational therapist in 1984 when she met two doctors at the University of Pittsburgh that inspired her to examine hand functions in patients with scleroderma. During her studies, Dr. Poole became very intrigued with the difficulty patients were having with many of their daily routines and during leisure activities. She continued her research because there was very little being reported on patients with scleroderma to guide occupational and physical therapists.
“There are approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. who have scleroderma according to the Scleroderma Foundation, and it is very different from a lot of the other types of rheumatic diseases due to skin hardening, ulcers, and difficulty swallowing,” explains Dr. Poole. “Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease and calls for more aggressive stretching exercises when compared to other rheumatic diseases.”
The biggest portion of Dr. Poole’s discussion will focus on exercise, oral hygiene, and managing daily tasks. She will review the classification and symptoms of systemic sclerosis and discuss management strategies for joint motion, exercise, pain control, daily tasks including oral care, and fatigue. In addition, she will look at Raynaud’s phenomenon as it relates to these patients and will review the evidence for rehabilitation interventions.
There are approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. who have scleroderma according to the Scleroderma Foundation, and it is very different from a lot of the other types of rheumatic diseases.
—Janet Poole, PhD, OTR
To register for the March 10 audioconference/ Webcast, contact Sharon Ross at (404) 633-3777, ext. 802 or visit www.rheumatology.org/arhp. CME and certificates of participation will be offered to paid registrants. If you are unable to participate, you can purchase a recording of the session at www.rheumatology.org/arhp.