Identifying predictors of function in people with diabetes living in the community

Navah Ratzon*, Rosalyn Futeran, Eli Isakov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) may cause sensory and motor changes and may affect the general function and hand function of diabetic patients. Objective: The objective of the study was to explore the predictors of function in diabetic patients. Method: Fifty people with diabetes underwent a battery of hand function tests, including dexterity, strength and sensation, and filled in questionnaires that assessed the severity of the diabetes, their functional status, their work ability and their own appraisal of their diabetes. Results: The hand strength and dexterity of this group were much lower than that of the average population, 30.53% were dependent in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and 60% of the group did not work. The regression analysis showed that a participant's own appraisal of his or her diabetes, tip pinch strength, the dexterity of the hands and biodemographic variables predicted IADL and work participation. Conclusion: The tests that are commonly used in occupational therapy departments to measure strength and dexterity are well standardised. They are inexpensive and not invasive and, therefore, they could be used to identify IADL and work participation problems in this population. Early identification of dysfunction could enable diabetic patients to benefit from support and prevent further problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Activity
  • Hand function
  • Participation


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