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Quantitative assessments of finger individuation with an instrumented glove. J Neuroeng Rehabil 2023 Apr 20;20(1):48



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2-s2.0-85153450611 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   2 Citations


BACKGROUND: In clinical and research settings, hand dexterity is often assessed as finger individuation, or the ability to move one finger at a time. Despite its clinical importance, there is currently no standardized, sufficiently sensitive, or fully objective platform for these evaluations.

METHODS: Here we developed two novel individuation scores and tested them against a previously developed score using a commercially available instrumented glove and data collected from 20 healthy adults. Participants performed individuation for each finger of each hand as well as whole hand open-close at two study visits separated by several weeks. Using the three individuation scores, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and minimal detectable changes (MDC) were calculated. Individuation scores were further correlated with subjective assessments to assess validity.

RESULTS: We found that each score emphasized different aspects of individuation performance while generating scores on the same scale (0 [poor] to 1 [ideal]). These scores were repeatable, but the quality of the metrics varied by both equation and finger of interest. For example, index finger intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC's) were 0.90 (< 0.0001), 0.77 (< 0.001), and 0.83 (p < 0.0001), while pinky finger ICC's were 0.96 (p < 0.0001), 0.88 (p < 0.0001), and 0.81 (p < 0.001) for each score. Similarly, MDCs also varied by both finger and equation. In particular, thumb MDCs were 0.068, 0.14, and 0.045, while index MDCs were 0.041, 0.066, and 0.078. Furthermore, objective measurements correlated with subjective assessments of finger individuation quality for all three equations (ρ = - 0.45, p < 0.0001; ρ = - 0.53, p < 0.0001; ρ = - 0.40, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Here we provide a set of normative values for three separate finger individuation scores in healthy adults with a commercially available instrumented glove. Each score emphasizes a different aspect of finger individuation performance and may be more uniquely applicable to certain clinical scenarios. We hope for this platform to be used within and across centers wishing to share objective data in the physiological study of hand dexterity. In sum, this work represents the first healthy participant data set for this platform and may inform future translational applications into motor physiology and rehabilitation labs, orthopedic hand and neurosurgery clinics, and even operating rooms.

Author List

Conway BJ, Taquet L, Boerger TF, Young SC, Krucoff KB, Schmit BD, Krucoff MO


Timothy F. Boerger LAT Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Max O. Krucoff MD Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Brian Schmit PhD Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Upper Extremity