Arm-hand use in healthy older adults

Debbie Rand*, Janice J. Eng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. Our objectives were (1) to quantify arm-hand use of older adults without a disability and to determine the effects of hand dominance, gender, and day on hand usage and (2) to determine the factors that predict arm-hand use. This information will enhance understanding of the extent of the client's occupational performance. METHOD. Twenty men and 20 women, ages 65-85, wore wrist and hip accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. Manual dexterity and grip strength were assessed. A three-way factorial analysis of variance and multiple linear regressions were conducted. RESULTS. The activity kilocounts from both wrist accelerometers revealed a significant interaction effect between hand and gender (F[1, 190] = 24.4, p < .001). Enhanced manual dexterity of the right hand was associated with greater right-hand use. CONCLUSION. Arm-hand use is a novel dimension of hand function measuring the extent of real-life occupational performance in the client's home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-885
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceleration
  • Functional laterality
  • Hand strength
  • Motor skills
  • Psychomotor performance
  • Upper extremity


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