Performance-based outcome measures of dexterity and hand function in person with hands and wrist injuries: A scoping review of measured constructs Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Dexterity impairments are common and disabling. Currently, there is no consensus on an operational definition to measure dexterity. PURPOSE: This review aims to provide an overview of constructs measured by performance-based outcome measures of dexterity and hand function (PBOMD) validated for use in persons with musculoskeletal hand and wrist conditions. STUDY DESIGN: Scoping review, with qualitative content analysis. METHODS: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO were searched from inception until November 2019. Three reviewers identified studies investigating the psychometric properties of PBOMD in persons with hand and wrist conditions. Original articles and manuals of validated PBOMD were obtained. Reviewers independently extracted and performed a content analysis of constructs comparing the theoretical concepts of dexterity and function. RESULTS: Twenty PBOMD were identified. PBOMD featured 1-57 tasks and 1-8 potential grasps patterns per tool. Description of the constructs measured indicated overlap between dexterity and hand function. In newer tools, there was a greater representation of daily activities to include domains like self-care and domestic life; and measurement of qualitative aspects of performance. Concurrently, there was less focus on mobility. The majority of identified tools (70%) used speed as the criterion evaluation of performance. None of the PBOMD evaluated dexterity associated with leisure activities or modern technologies like smartphones, nor measured the ability to adapt to changing demands when completing tasks. CONCLUSIONS: Hand function and dexterity are imprecisely defined and operationalized in PBOMD. Dexterity is a complex construct that current PBOMD incompletely captures. PBOMD often quantified as the speed of movement, ignoring other important aspects like accommodating environmental changes during task performance. Clinicians should consider tasks included in PBOMD, the quantification method, and each PBOMD's limitations when choosing PBOMD.

publication date

  • April 2022