Skip to content
left end
left end
right end


The service provides expertise for children and adolescents who suffer from a wide variety of childhood rheumatology conditions and inflammatory diseases as well as musculoskeletal problems, which may include:

  • juvenile arthritis
  • uveitis
  • juvenile onset lupus
  • juvenile dermatomyositis
  • rare forms of paediatric vasculitis
  • mechanical joint pain
  • functional difficulties associated with hypermobility

The occupational therapist in paediatric rheumatology is part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of consultant doctors and registrars, specialist nurses, a clinical psychologist and physiotherapists. The occupational therapy service primarily consists of outpatient clinics but we may also work with young people on the wards if their care is led by a paediatric rheumatology consultant. The service covers the south west of England and south Wales, so sometimes our patients are coming from far way to clinics and to have their medication administered on CIU.

Treatment focuses on enabling the young person to participate fully in everyday activities which are meaningful to them, including self-care, accessing school, and leisure activities. This often involves developing new skills, problem solving with young people and their parents, making changes to the environment or the task, and recommendations for equipment.

We set functional goals with young people and their families, and treatment may include:

  • advice regarding everyday activities which will promote hand function and strength
  • increasing range of movement in the hand and upper limb and grip strength through exercise; this may be to recondition after a period of active JIA affecting fingers and wrists
  • advice and equipment recommendations to support hand writing, for instance using pen grips or writing slopes
  • liaison with schools to help teachers understand the condition and how it affects a young person
  • help to cope with pain and low energy levels by teaching pacing strategies and activity grading
  • Advice on relaxation and sleep

Useful links: