Anita Witt Mitchell, Carmen Hampton, Mistie Hanks, Chelsea Miller, Natalie Ray; Influence of Task and Tool Characteristics on Scissor Skills in Typical Adults. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(6):e89–e97. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004135
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To clarify expectations for mature cutting skills and investigate the influences of cutting task and scissor type, we videotaped 60 typical adults cutting three shapes with two different types of scissors. The videotapes were reviewed, and 38 aspects of grasp and cutting motions were rated. Percentages of participants who used a particular grip or cutting motion for each shape with each scissor type were reported and compared. Findings included variations in grasp that depended on the scissor type used and variations in cutting motions that depended on the shape being cut. Improved understanding of mature scissor skills and the effect of variations in the cutting task and scissor type used will allow more effective assessment of and intervention for children and adults with cutting difficulties. Specific implications for practice are discussed.
What are the characteristics of the grasps and motor patterns typical adults use for cutting?
What are the similarities and differences in the motor skills typical adults use with different types of scissors (i.e., circular handles vs. oval handles)?
What are the similarities and differences in the motor skills typical adults use when cutting different shapes (i.e., a line, square, circle)?
The most common grasp used by typical adults for circular-handled scissors was thumb through the top loop, middle finger through the bottom loop, index finger outside the bottom loop and used for stabilization, and scissors positioned between the DIP and PIP joints of the fingers.
The most common grasp used by typical adults for oval-handled scissors was thumb through the top loop; index, middle, and ring fingers through the bottom loop; and scissors positioned between the DIP and PIP joints of the fingers.
Many of the upper-extremity movements and positions were consistent, regardless of the type of scissors used.
Participants used more shoulder abduction, wrist flexion, and wrist movement when cutting complex shapes than when cutting a line.
These findings will assist therapists in recognizing and identifying delays and deficits in cutting skills, in designing therapeutic activities for meeting particular goals, and in developing appropriate task and tool adaptations for meeting the needs of specific people.
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