Hand Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Janet L. PooleEmail author


Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic, inflammatory, debilitating disease that can lead to significant hand deformities and pain which can affect hand function and performance of daily activities. This chapter reviews the structural changes and deformities that occur in the hand in persons with rheumatoid arthritis and the resulting impairments and functional disability. Assessments of hand impairments including observation and measurements of joint motion, joint stability, pain, grip, and pinch strength are discussed. Finally both self-reports and performance-based tests of hand function are presented such as the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire; Duruöz Hand Index; Grip Ability Test; the Sequential Occupational Therapy Assessment; the Arthritis Hand Function Test; and the Jebsen Test of Hand Function. The psychometric properties of these tests and advantages and disadvantages of self-reports and performance-based tests are also presented. Assessment of hand function is imperative to preserve function in the hand and prevent disability.


Hand Function Ulnar Collateral Ligament Pinch Strength Joint Deformity Chronic Synovitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational TherapyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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