Clinimetric evaluation of measurement tools used in hand therapy to assess activity and participation

J Hand Ther. 2009 Jul-Sep;22(3):221-35; quiz 236. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Mar 10.


Study design: Systematic review.

Introduction: A number of measurement tools with strong clinimetric properties address activities and participation in hand-injured persons.

Purpose of the study: To evaluate clinimetric quality of measurement tools assessing activities and participation in patients with hand injuries.

Methods: The electronic databases Medline, Cochrane library, EMBASE, PEDro, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (ClNAHL), and Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED) were searched for appropriate literature. Descriptive data of included tools were given, and their clinimetric quality was scored with specific criteria.

Results: The literature search identified 696 publications, referring to 15 measurement tools that met the inclusion criteria. For most of the included tests, applicability was good, whereas information on clinimetric properties was often lacking, especially for the performance tests. Overall, the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) was the most extensively studied tool with positive ratings for all criteria, closely followed by the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (MHQ). Of the performance tests, the Functional Dexterity Test (FDT) received the best ratings.

Conclusions: Optimal measurement tool selection depends highly on the purpose of measurement and the type of hand injury.

Level of evidence: 2a-.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Hand Injuries / physiopathology
  • Hand Injuries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Physical Examination / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*