Development of a Juvenile Prosthetic-Dexterity Test

WALTER FARRELL, MS, OTR/L, LOIS CARLSON, OTR/LAND JAMES CARY, MD*Newington, Connecticut


Standardized objective measures for upper-limb prosthetic dexterity are lacking. Consequently, two tests were devised, one to measure prosthetic dexterity and the other to measure prosthetic functional use by children 6 to 12 years of age. Both tests are scored on a scale of 0 to 5 for quality of prosthetic use. Nonparametric statistics were used to compare the results of the tests for nine subjects. The Prosthetic-Dexterity Test correlated with the more time-consuming Prosthetic Functional-Use Test. Correlations were noted for both time scores and the Prosthetic-Dexterity Test time score as compared with the quality score of the Prosthetic Functional-Use Test.

The Prosthetic-Dexterity Test can be administered quickly, needs a minimum of equipment and can help identify specific problem areas in prosthetic use, for example, prepositioning, approach, grasp and release. Further testing is necessary to develop norms and standardization for the test, in view of the encouraging preliminary results.

*Newington Children's Hospital, 181 East Cedar Street, Newington, CT 06111