Psychometric evaluation of the Southampton hand assessment procedure (SHAP) in a sample of upper limb prosthesis users

J Hand Ther. 2021 Aug 13;S0894-1130(21)00111-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2021.07.003. Online ahead of print.


Background: The 26-item Southampton Hand Assessment Protocol (SHAP) is a test of prosthetic hand function that generates an Index of Functionality (IOF), and prehensile pattern (PP) scores. Prior researchers identified potential issues in SHAP scoring, proposing alternative scoring methods (LIF and W-LIF).

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Purpose: Evaluate the psychometric properties of the SHAP IOF, LIF, and W-LIF and PP scores and develop the Prosthesis Index of Functionality (P-IOF).

Methods: We examined item completion, floor andceiling effects, concurrent, discriminant, construct and structural validity. The P-IOF used increased boundary limits and information from item completion and completion time. Calibration used a nonlinear mixed model. Scores were estimated using maximum a posteriori Bayesian estimation. Mixed integer linear programing (MILP) informed development of a shorter measure. Validity analyses were repeated using the P-IOF.

Results: 126 persons, mean age 57 (sd 15.8), 69% with transradial amputation were included. Floors effects were observed in 18.3%-19.1% for the IOF, LIF, and W-LIF. Ten items were not completed by >15% of participants. Boundary limits were problematic for all but 1 item. Correlations with dexterity measures were strong (r = 0.54-0.73). Scores differed by amputation level (p > .0001). Factor analysis did not support use of PP scores. The P-IOF used expanded boundary limits to decrease floor effects. MILP identified 10 items that could be dropped. The 26-item P-IOF and 16-item P-IOF had reduced floor effects (<7.5%), strong evidence of concurrent and discriminant validity, and construct validity. P-IOF reduced administrative burden by 9.5 (sd 5.6) minutes.

Discussion: Floor effects limit a measure's ability to distinguish between persons with low function.

Conclusion: Analyses supported the validity of the SHAP IOF, LIF, and W-LIF, but identified large floor effects, as well as issues with structural validity of the PP scores. The 16-item P-IOF minimizes floor effects and reduces administrative burden.

Keywords: Dexterity; Outcome assessment; Prosthesis; Psychometrics; Upper limb.