Prospective, repeated-measures study.
Understanding individual hand function can assist therapists with the process of determining relevant treatment approaches and realistic therapeutic outcomes. At this point in time, a composite test that assesses both unilateral and bimanual hand function in relation to a functional activity is not available.
Purpose of the Study
To establish the reliability and validity of the suitcase packing activity (SPA).
An expert panel established face and content validity. Eighty healthy, English-speaking volunteers aged between 18 and 45 years were randomly assigned to either 1 or 2 sessions (test-retest reliability). Relative agreement between 2 examiners using an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)3,1 determined interrater reliability. Test-retest reliability was determined by using a repeated-measures analysis of variance and an ICC3,2. Concurrent validity was evaluated against 2 well-established hand evaluations using separate tests of correlational coefficients.
Face and content validity were established across 4 focus groups. Our results demonstrate good to excellent interrater reliability (ICC3,1 ≥ 0.93) and good to excellent test-retest reliability (ICC3,2 ≥ 0.83). SPA scores were moderately correlated with the 2-hand evaluations.
Through evaluating hand function during participation in a goal-directed activity (eg, packing a suitcase), the SPA exhibits promise in usefulness as a future viable outcome measure that can be used to assess functional abilities following a hand injury.
The SPA is a valid and reliable tool for assessing bimanual and unilateral hand function in healthy subjects.