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Handgrip Strength Testing Instrument and Protocol: A Review of Literature

Nitesh Bansal, M. Ramprasand, C.S. Panda

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Background: Testing grip strength is a popular assessment used by Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists in wide range of clinical settings. There are numerous measures of grip strength evaluation involving a diverse range of assessment protocols, instruments and their testing positions. The instruments and testing protocols are essential parameters, which shall always be considered within the context of the purpose of the assessment.

Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to review the literature and present the overview on grip strength testing methods and instruments (accuracy and reliability).

Material and Method: Sources were identified through search on “GOOGLE” and “MEDLINE” databases using the key words Grip Strength, Dynamometer and Testing Protocol. Many sources were also obtained through secondary method. (i.e. reference from published articles)

Conclusion: The Jamar and Smedley dynamometer, Martin Virgometer and My Gripper are accurate instruments; however, the Tekdyne Dynamometer’s accuracy was not acceptable (Mathiowetz et al .1984, Stephens et al. 1996). The testing position advocated by the American Society of Hand Therapist is recommended for continued use unless there is specific reason to deviate from it. The preferred method when obtaining maximum grip strength is mean of three trials (Mathiowetz et al .1994). The 60 seconds rest period, however had a significantly smaller percentage of declines from first to the last trial, and the highest intraclass correlation coefficient. (Trossman and Li 1989).

Nitesh Bansal, M. Ramprasand, C.S. Panda

Dept. of Postgraduate Studies and Research.
Srinivas College of Physiotherapy, Mangalore.
[email protected]