Hand Function pp 211-225 | Cite as

Functional Assessment in Geriatric Hand

  • Nurgül Arıncı İncel


Prolonged longevity with an increase in the numbers of elderly and disability-free life expectancy focused the impact on geriatric population. A larger geriatric population is expected to result in an increase in old hand therapy patients.

Aging has been reported to have a negative effect on hand function. Studies on hand function in elderly population have reported increased difficulties in performing everyday tasks and a reduction in quality of life. The decline in hand function has been postulated to be due to deterioration in muscle coordination and strength, decline in finger dexterity and hand sensation, as well as the degeneration of the central nervous system. Some systemic pathologies common in the elderly population have marked impact on hand function. Parkinson’s disease with rigidity and tremor, type II DM with neuropathy and Dupuytren’s contracture, and stroke with flask or spastic extremities are the most recognized ones. Also in older people, conditions not directly related to the primary upper extremity problem but negatively affecting the patients’ general health status or the therapy period can be present, like a patient with flexor tendon repair accompanied by a severe dementia. These problems not only interfere with the evaluation and diagnostic process but seriously and negatively affect the therapy and rehabilitation period.

In this chapter along with impact of aging and age-related comorbid conditions on hand function, clinical examination and functional evaluation in the elderly population will be reviewed.


Geriatrics Elderly Hand Aging Sarcopenia Functional evaluation Activities of daily living Laterality Dexterity Grip strength TEMPA GERI-AIMS 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Nurgül Arıncı İncel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationMersin University School of MedicineMersinTurkey

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