Cognitive-Behavior Therapy in the Management of Upper Extremity Cumulative Trauma Disorder

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Cognitive-behavioral techniques have a great deal to offer in the prevention and remediation of upper extremity cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) in the workplace In relation to prevention, cognitive-behavioral methods offer promise as adjuncts to educational programs and ergonomic practices that aim to increase workers' use of safe work postures, movements, and procedures. Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is also an important component of the rehabilitation process for the minority of workers who proceed to a chronic pain condition. However, CBT forms just one aspect of the rehabilitation process, along with multidisciplinary interventions that tackle physical fitness, ergonomic factors, and work practices. CBT techniques, such as goal setting, problem solving, cognitive restructuring, attention diversion, communication skills, and assertiveness training, aim to enhance coping skills and reduce psychopathology and disability. As each patient presents with a different pattern of cognitive and behavioral strengths and weaknesses, an individualized assessment is important. This will permit the development of an individually tailored approach to CBT as part of the rehabilitation process.

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