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Research Article  |   July 1997
Effects of Object Characteristics on Female Grasp Patterns
Author Affiliations
  • Yvonne Fuller, MSOT, was Student, Department of occupational Therapy, Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts, at the time of this study. (Mailing address: 281 Essex Street, Beverly, Massachusetts 01915)
  • Catherine A. Trombly, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts
Article Information
Research
Research Article   |   July 1997
Effects of Object Characteristics on Female Grasp Patterns
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1997, Vol. 51, 481-487. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.7.481
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1997, Vol. 51, 481-487. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.7.481
Abstract

Objective. This study determined which object characteristics had an effect on grasp when adult women took a drink from a cup.

Method. Thirty women aged 20 to 45 years (M = 27.6years) were randomly assigned to a sequence for each of three experiments. The first experiment tested the grasp pattern used for cups of same height and weight but with different-sized handles. The second experiment tested the grasp pattern for cups of varied height but with same-sized handles and same weight. The third experiment tested the grasp pattern for cups of varied weight but with same-sized handles and same height. The grasp patterns were recorded by a videocamera placed across from the subjects.

Results. The number of fingers placed through the handle was found to be significantly greater for the cup with a larger handle than for the cups with the smaller handles when cup size and weight were held constant, X2(2) = 49.8, P < .001. No significant difference was found in the number of supporting fingers for varying cup heights or weights.

Conclusion. The results support other research that has stated that handle size accounted for the change in grasp pattern. Because motor performance is affected by the object characteristics as well as personal abilities, adaptation of characteristics, such as handle size, for persons with limited hand use may provide an environment that evokes more optimal performance.