Outcome measures used to assess hand activity in amputee and intact populations: a literature review

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BACKGROUND: The human hand is critical in assisting with activities of daily living (ADL). Amputation of the hand can affect a person physically, socially and psychologically. Knowledge of outcome measures used to assess upper limb activity of intact and amputee populations may aid in guiding research to develop applicable measurement tools specific to the amputee population. Tools could aid developments in prosthetic design and prescription, which benefit both users and healthcare researchers.

OBJECTIVE(S): This literature review examined outcome measurement tools used with non-amputee and amputee populations to assess hand activity. The objectives were to identify which characteristics of hand activity are captured by currently available measurement tools.

METHODOLOGY: Searches were conducted using PubMed, Cochrane and ProQuest for studies investigating hand activity for amputee and non-amputee populations. A total of 15 studies were included. PRISMA guidelines were used to assist with study selection. Data extraction and narrative synthesis were carried out.

FINDINGS: A total of 32 outcome measures were found. Frequently used tools were: Box and Block Test, Swedish Disabilities of the Arm Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire, and range of motion. Studies employed a combination of 2 to 12 tools. Themes extracted were: importance of function and quality of life, the need for realistic tasks, and the need for outcome measures specific of the population.

CONCLUSION: There is a gap in research surrounding outcome measurement tools used to assess hand activity in the amputee population. A combination of outcome measures are required to obtain insight into the hand activities of intact and amputee populations. Function and quality of life are important aspects to consider when describing hand activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Prosthetics & Orthotics Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2022


  • outcome measures
  • healthcare
  • amputee
  • upper limbs
  • amputation
  • rehabilitation
  • prosthetics


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