Very limited evidence on effectiveness of assistive technology for rheumatoid arthritis

Clinical question: 
How effective is assistive technology for adults with rheumatoid arthritis?
Bottom line: 
There is very limited evidence on the effectiveness of assistive technology for adults with rheumatoid arthritis. The low quality evidence indicated that the use of a dispenser device (Opticare) may improve application of eye drops and prevent adverse effects in terms of touching the eye with the bottle tip.
Caveat: 
Only one randomised controlled trial with 29 participants was included. The study design was assessed to have moderate limitations (no blinding, selective reporting, and unclear concealment of allocation), and the quality of evidence was graded as "low". The Opticare device is not a commonly used assistive device. Only a proportion of the population with rheumatoid arthritis might use this device, namely those with Sjögrens syndrome.
Context: 
Provision of assistive technology is a widely used intervention for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Assistive technology is any item used to increase or maintain functional ability in individuals with disabilities. It includes a wide range of products, from low-technology devices to technologically complex equipment. There are few randomised controlled trials on the effectiveness of assistive technology in this population.
Review CD#: 
CD006729
PEARLS No: 
222
Date: 
January, 2010
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy