Grip and Pinch Strength in Healthy Subjects and Patients with Primary Osteoarthritis of the Hand: A Reproducibility Study

Efrat Ziv1, 3, Hagar Patish2, 3, Zeevi Dvir*, 2
1 Department of Occupational Therapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
2 Department of Physical Therapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
3 Unit of Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation, Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon, Israel

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© Ziv et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Physical Therapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel; Tel: +97236410734; Fax: +39726409223; E-mail:


Grip, Key Pinch (KP), 3 Point Pinch (3PP) and 2 Point Pinch (2PP) strengths were measured twice weekly in 32 women with primary osteoarthritis of the hand (POAH) and 25 healthy women. Reproducibility was assessed by standard error of measurement (SEM) and the coefficient of variation (CV). Cutoff values for significant improvement or deterioration were determined and expressed, respectively, as either the smallest detectable difference (SDD) or critical difference (CD). The SDD and CD of grip and pinch strengths were higher in POAH patients than in the healthy group. Among the pinch tests the 2PP findings were least reproducible. The relatively high SDD and CD scores indicate that improvement may be detected only in patients with moderate to severe weakness of grip and pinch. Furthermore, in POAH patients, diagnosing strength changes using the 2PP test is invalid due to low reproducibility.

Keywords: Hand, osteoarthritis, grip, pinch, strength, reproducibility.