Cognitive-behavior therapy in the management of upper extremity cumulative trauma disorder

Susan H. Spence*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-45
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • Cognitive-behavior therapy
    • Cumulative trauma disorder
    • Occupational overuse
    • Repetitive strain injury


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