Hand sensibility of healthy older people

J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 Aug;44(8):974-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1996.tb01871.x.


Objective: To develop normative data for four hand sensibility modalities in older subjects.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting and participants: Three hundred and sixty community-dwelling subjects of both sexes, aged 60 to 94, randomly selected from the electoral list of the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

Measurements: Touch/pressure threshold (Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments), static and moving two-point discrimination (Mackinnon-Dellon Disk-Criminator), tactile recognition (Modified Pick-up test), and thumb kinesthesia.

Results: A reduction with age was found in the performance of the study subjects, with the exception of the kinesthesia test. The values obtained in this study are clearly lower than the norms proposed for adults, underlining the importance of using reference values developed for the target clientele.

Conclusion: The norms will help clinicians to differentiate better between normal and pathological changes in sensibility with age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kinesthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Touch*