Establishing a standardized clinical assessment tool of pathologic and prosthetic hand function: normative data, reliability, and validity

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Jun;83(6):776-83. doi: 10.1053/apmr.2002.32737.


Objective: To develop a new assessment procedure, the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP), that allows contextual results of hand function to be obtained readily in a clinical environment.

Design: Reliability (test-retest, interrater) and validity (criterion, content) of new assessment procedure against standard medical outcome measure techniques.

Setting: Normative data collected in a university laboratory.

Participants: Twenty-four volunteers selected on the basis of optimum hand function using these criteria: age (range, 18-25 y), and no adverse hand trauma, neurologic condition, or disabling effects of the upper limb.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: The normative control group was assessed for variability, and the procedure measured in terms of interrater and test-retest reliability. The absence of a direct comparison prevents a criterion standard from being established; however, content validity was shown by expert peer review.

Results: The control group data were shown to be multivariate gaussian; test-retest and interrater reliability were demonstrated at the 95% confidence level. The content validity was demonstrated by peer panel approval.

Conclusions: Results of the control group established the statistical integrity of SHAP. Clinical trials are underway, although more extensive use of the procedure is advocated in primary care and rehabilitation centers where physiotherapy and occupational therapy are actively used in hand rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hand Injuries / diagnosis
  • Hand Injuries / physiopathology
  • Hand Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Hand* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results