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Kristin Valdes, OTD, OT, CHT, established Hand Works Therapy in Sarasota, Florida.  She is an assistant professor at Gannon University. She has been in private practice for over thirty years and specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of the upper extremity. Her clinical expertise includes treatment of the hand, wrist, and elbow, shoulder, splinting, and arthritis. Kristin has published over thirty peer reviewed studies.  Dr. Valdes received her OTD degree with a specialization in hand rehabilitation from Rocky Mountain University of Health Care Professions in Provo, Utah.  Dr Valdes is member of the Guatemala Healing Hands Medical Mission.


Certified Hand Therapist


  • 2016 Best Scientific Poster ASHT Annual Meeting Washington DC
  • 2015 Best Scientific paper ASHT Annual Meeting Denver: Relationship of Patient Specific Functional Scale to Commonly used Clinical Measures in Hand Osteoarthritis
  • 2015 ASHT Gold President Award for outstanding service
  • 2013 Yearbook of Hand and Upper Limb Surgery: 2 articles chosen to be included
  • 2011 ASHT Outstanding Research Committee Member
  • 2009 ASHT Research Committee Volunteer of the Year
  •  2009 First Time Author award, Journal of Hand Therapy
  • 2009 A Best paper presentation, ASSH and ASHT combined Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA: Are Hand Therapists practicing Evidence-Based Medicine?

Professional Experience

  • 7/1/2015-present Assistant Professor, Gannon University, Ruskin, FL
  • 9/2013- 9/2015 Adjunct Faculty, Drexel University, Hand Therapy Certificate Program
  • 9/2012- 8/13/2015 Adjunct Faculty, Rocky Mountain University of Health Care Professions, Provo, UT

Professional Societies

  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Association for Hand Surgery
  • American Society of Hand Therapists
  • President 2017-2018
    President Elect 2016-2017
    Vice President 2016
    Secretary-Treasurer Elect 2015
    Research Division Director 2013-2014
    Scientific Session Chair ASHT Annual Meeting 2013
    Research Division Vice Division Director 2012
    ASHT Board Member 2013-2014
    Annual Meeting Committee member 2013-2014
    Active Member 1989-present
    Research Committee 2008- 2015
    Liaison to AAHS 2010-2012
    2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 Meeting Co Chair, ASSH & ASHT, Electives in Hand Surgery New Orleans, February


  • MacDermid, J.C., Valdes, K., Szerekes, M., Naughton, N., Algar, L.  (2017) The assessment of psychological factors on upper extremity disability: A scoping review. Journal of Hand Therapy, DOI:10.1016/j.jht. 2017.05.017
  • Valdes, K., Campell, A. (2017) Patient preferences for home program provision: A patient survey. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 71(_Supplement_1)71151086p1.
  • Hengy, S., Lunsford, D., Valdes, K. (2017) Understanding the Self-Perceived Occupational Performance of Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries Using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 71(_Supplement_1)711505117p1.
  • Villafañe, J. H., Cantero-Vellez, R,Valdes, K., Berjano, P. (2017) Educational quality of You-Tube videos in thumb exercises for carpometacarpal osteoarthritis: A search on current practice. Hand, DOI: 10.117/155894471776139
  • Wright, H., O’Brien. V.H., Valdes K, Koczan, B., MacDermid, J.C., Moore, E….Finley, M.A. (2017) Relationship of the patient specific functional scale to commonly used clinical measures in hand osteoarthritis. Journal of Hand Therapy, DOI: 10.1016/j.jht.2017.04.003
  • Cantero-Vellez, R. Villafañe, J. H.,,Valdes, K., Berjano, P. (2017) Surgical procedures of members of the Spanish Society of Surgery of the Hand (SECMA) for trapezius-metacarpal arthroses: An examination of trends in current clinical practice. Circugia de la Mano, 45(01), 12-15.
  • Villafañe, J. H.,Valdes K., Imperio, Gl, Borboni, A., Cantero-Tellez, R., Galeri, S., Negrini, S. (2017) Neural manual vs. robotic assisted mobilization to improve motion and reduce pan hypersensitivity in hand osteoarthritis: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Physiotherapy and Science 29(5), 801-806.
  • Cantero-Tellez, R., Valdes, K., Schwartz, D.A., Villafañe, J. H. (2017) Necessity of immobilizing the metacarpophalangeal joint in carpometacarpal osteoarthritis: short-term effect. Hand DOI:10.117/15589447108031.
  • Villafañe, J. H., O’Brien, V. ,Valdes, K., O’Brien, V., Seves, M., Cantero-Vellez, R., Berjano, P. Conservative management of thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis: An Italian survey of current clinical practice. Journal of Body Work and Movement Therapies, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.03.015
  • Valdes, K., Szekeres, M., MacDermid J. Hand therapists report perceived differences in patient referrals from hand surgeons vs other referral sources: A survey study. Journal of Hand Therapy, doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2017.02.008
  • Cantero-Tellez, R., Villafañe, J. H., Valdes, K., Berjano, P. Effect of immobilization of metacarpophalangeal joint in thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis on pain and function. A quasi-experimental trial. Journal of Hand Therapy, doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2016.11.005
  • Villafañe, J. H., Taveggia, G., Galeri, S., Bissolotti, L.,  Mulle, C., Imperio, G., Valdes, K., Borboni, A., Negrini, S. (2017) Efficacy of Short-Term Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation in Patients With Hand Paralysis After Stroke: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Hand, doi: 10.1177/1558944717692096.
  • Valdes K, Naughton N, Algar L. (2016) ICF components of outcome measures for mallet finger: A systematic review.Journal of Hand Therapy, 29(4), 388-395.
  • Valdes K, Naughton N, Algar L. (2016) Linking ICF components to outcome measures for orthotic intervention for CMC OA: A systematic review. Journal of Hand Therapy, 29(4), 396-404.
  • Borboni, A., Villafañe, J. H., Mulle, C., Valdes, K., Faglia, R., Taveggia, G., Negrini, S. (2016) Robot-Assisted rehabilitation of hand paralysis after stroke reduces wrist edema and pain: A prospective clinical trial. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 40(1), 21-30.
  • Villafañe, J. H., Valdes, K.,Cantero-Tellez, R., Pillistrini, P., Berjano, P. (2016) How do we manage thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis? A survey of clinical practice trends for hand therapists in Spain. International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 11(6), 012-014.
  • Villafañe, J. H., Valdes, K., Buraschi, R., Martinelli, M., Bissolotti, L., & Negrini, S. (2016). Reliability of the Handgrip strength test in elderly subjects with Parkinson disease. Hand, 11(1), 54–58. doi:10.1177/1558944715614852
  • Bissolotti L, Villafane JH, Gaffurini P, Orizio C, Valdes K, Negrini S. (2016) Changes in skeletal muscle perfusion and spacticity in patients with poststroke hemiparesis treated by robotic assistance (Gloreha) of the hand. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 28(3), 769-773. 
  • Villafañe JH, Valdes K. (2015) Letter to the editor: Topigraphical pain sensitivity maps of the shoulder region in individuals with subacromial pain syndrome. Manual Therapy, doi:10.1016/j.math.2015.09.006
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K, Berjano P, Wajon A. (2015) Clinical update: Conservative management of Carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis. Journal of Rheumatology, 42(9),1729-1730. doi:10.3899/jrheum.150416
  • Villafañe JH, Valdes K. (2015) Letter regarding “Conservative treatment of thumb base osteoarthritis: A systematic review. Journal of Hand Surgery, doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2015.01.046
  • Valdes K, Naughton N, Burke CJ. (2015) Therapist-supervised hand therapy versus home therapy with therapist instruction following distal radius fracture. Journal of Hand Surgery, doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2015.01.036
  • Valdes K, Naughton N, Algar L. (2015) Conservative management of mallet finger: A systematic review. Journal of Hand Therapy, doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2015.03.001
  • Villafañe JH, Valdes K,  Anselmi F, Pirali C, Negrini S. The diagnostic accuracy of seven tests for diagnosing partial-thickness tears of the supraspinatus tendon: A cohort study. Journal of Hand Therapy, doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2015.01.011
  • Valdes K, Naughton N, Algar L. (2014) Sensorimotor interventions and assessments for the hand and wrist: A scoping review. Journal of Hand Therapy, 27(4), 272-286.
  • Bertozzi L, Valdes K, Vanti C,  Negrini S,  Pillastrini P,  Villafañe JH. (2014) Investigation of the effect of conservative interventions in thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis. Disability Rehabilitation, doi: 10-3109/09638288.2014.996299
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K, Bertozzi L, Negrini S. (2014) Minimal clinically important difference of grip and pinch strength in women with thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis when compared to healthy subjects. Rehabilitation Nursing, doi: 10.1002/rnj.196
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K, Vanti C, Pillastrini P, Borboni A. (2014) Reliability of handgrip strength testing with unilateral thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Hand, doi: 10.1007/s11552-014-9678-y.
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K, Angulo-Diaz-Parreno S, Pillastrini P, Negrini S. (2014) Ulnar digits contribution to grip strength in patients with carpometacarpal osteoarthritis is less than in normal controls. Hand, doi: 10.1007/s11552-014-9682-2
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K. (2014) Mobilization with movement and elastic tape application for the conservative management of carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Journal of Hand Therapy, 28(1), doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2014.08.001.
  • Valdes K, MacDermid J, Algar L, Connors B, Cyr LM, Dickmann S, Lucado AM, Naughton N. (2014) Hand therapist use of patient report outcome (PRO) in practice: A survey study. Journal of Hand Therapy, 27(4), 299-308.
  • Valdes K, O’Brien, V., Cyr L. (2014) Letter in response to "A prospective randomized comparison of neoprene vs thermoplast hand-based thumb spica splinting for trapeziometacarpal arthrosis", Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 22(4), doi:10.1016/j.joca.2013.12.025.
  • Valdes K, Naughton N, Michlovitz S. (2014) Therapist supervised clinic-based therapy versus instruction in a home program following distal radius fracture: A systematic review. Journal of Hand Therapy, 27(3),165-174.
  • Algar L, Valdes K. (2014) Using smartphone applications as hand therapy interventions. Journal of Hand Therapy, 27(3), 254-257
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K. (2014) Reliability of pinch strength testing in elderly subjects with unilateral thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. The Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 26(7), 993-995.
  • Villafane JH, Valdes K. (2013) Combined thumb abduction and Index finger extension strength: A comparison of older adults with and without carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 36(4), 238-44.
  • Valdes K, LaStayo P. (2013) Clinical usefulness of provocative tests for the hand, wrist, and elbow: A systematic review. Journal of Hand Therapy, 26(1), 32-43.
  • Valdes K, von der Heyde R. (2012) Attitudes and opinions of Evidence-based Practice among hand therapists: A survey study. Journal of Hand Therapy, 25(3), 288-296.
  • Valdes K, von der Heyde R. (2012) An exercise program for individuals with carpometacarpal osteoarthritis based on biomechanical principles. Journal of Hand Therapy, 25(3),  251-163.
  • Valdes K (2012) A retrospective review to determine the efficacy of orthosis for trigger finger. Journal of Hand Therapy, 25(1), 89-96.
  • Valdes K (2011) Rehabilitation of flexor tendon ruptures after volar plate fixation of the distal radius: a case series. Hand, 6(4), 429-37. doi 10.1007/s11552-011-9360-6
  • Valdes K, Marik T. (2010) Systematic Review of Conservative Interventions for Osteoarthritis of the Hand. Journal of Hand Therapy, 23(4), 334-51.
  • Valdes, K (2009) A retrospective pilot study comparing the number of therapy visits required to obtain functional wrist range of motion following volar-plate fixation of distal radius fractures. Journal of Hand Therapy, 22(4), 312-319.



All of my research is within the discipline of hand therapy which is a speciality area of occupational therapy. I have conducted randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, and performed systematic reviews to add to the body of knowledge to support hand therapy interventions. I am as assistant editor of the Journal of Hand Therapy.