Assessment of Hand Function

  • Mehmet Tuncay DuruözEmail author


The hand is extremely involved in our daily life because of its vital and sophisticated functional role. The hand function may be defined primarily as the capacity to use the hand in everyday activities depending on the anatomical integrity, sensation, coordination, strength, and dexterity. The accurate assessment of hand function is very important for establishing strategies to maximize functional potential and evaluating treatment and the progress of the disease. The ICIDH and ICF are two accepted models to make the description of the relationship between pathology and functional consequences of diseases. The pinch grip, full hand grip (grasp), nonprehension hand function, and bilateral prehension are four main items to classify and assess the grip. Daily activities are generally the combinations of these different types of grips. There are three main pinch function of hands such as tip pinch, tri-digit (chuck) pinch, and lateral (key) pinch. The dexterity (finger and manual) is the fundamental functional property of the hand. Speed and precision are the criteria used to measure this skill, and the tests require high-level hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor control of the hand. Impairment, disability, and handicap are complementary aspects of function, and we have to assess all three domains separately to have complete information about hand function in patients with hand involvement. Grasp and pinch strengths can be assessed with a dynamometer. There are several scales to assess the hand function. The DHI, MHQ, DASH, and AHFT are some of the most widely used scales in clinical practices. The primary concern of hand functional disability questionnaires is the patient’s perception of ability. There is no single assessment method that can be recommended for all clinics, and there is no gold standard to assess the hand function. The test should be valid for the purpose of the study. The simple tests are better than complex ones, and it is better to use hand function test concerning the purpose of the research and the clinical assessment.


Hand function Grip Pinch Dexterity Disability Handicap Outcomes 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationRheumatology Division, Marmara University Medical SchoolIstanbulTurkey

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