Research Article
Issue Date: March 1987
Published Online: March 01, 1987
Updated: April 30, 2020
Functional Hand Evaluations: A Review
Author Affiliations
  • At the time of this study. Major Scott D. McPhee, MS, OTR, was Chief Occupational Therapist, Ireland Army Community Hospital, Fort Knox, Kentucky. He currently is a student at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Levenworth, Kansas 66027
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Features
Research Article   |   March 01, 1987
Functional Hand Evaluations: A Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1987, Vol. 41, 158-163.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1987, Vol. 41, 158-163.
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Describing hand prehension patterns in the context of functional hand evaluations may not provide the therapist or surgeon with an accurate portrayal of a patient’s capabilities. Although dexterity involves both static and dynamic components of hand usage, most descriptions of prehension patterns study the static phase alone. Hand use is a function of anatomic integrity, mobility, strength, sensation, coordination, age, sex, mental status, disease or trauma, and the condition of other proximal extremity joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist). In this study, various descriptions of hand prehension patterns were reviewed and 11 functional hand evaluations were analyzed. The purpose was to see if the descriptions and the evaluations have common elements. The conclusions are that there are no common elements, that no hand function evaluation is appropriate for all types of patients, and that such evaluations should consist of tasks representative of everyday functional activities.