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Functional and biomechanical assessment of the normal and rheumatoid hand

Fowler, N.K. and Nicol, A.C. (2001) Functional and biomechanical assessment of the normal and rheumatoid hand. Clinical Biomechanics, 16 (8). pp. 660-666.

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Abstract

Aims to assess hand function in accordance with its accepted definition and to compare the results of three different assessment techniques. Traditional clinical assessment may not relate to a patient's actual hand function. If hand function is defined as 'the ability to use the hand in daily activities' then it is more appropriate to measure the forces available for performing everyday tasks using biomechanical tests. Functional differences between the two subject groups were apparent using all three methods of assessment. Pinch strength correlated well with the biomechanical trial data but results from the clinical-type assessment provided only a weak correlation. Clinical-type assessments do not give an accurate measure of hand function. Pinch strength measurements can provide a cost-effective alternative to full biomechanical analysis.