PURPOSE: For treatment evaluation of children with radius deficiencies (RDs), standardized assessment of hand function in performing activities is required. Instruments to measure hand function have been developed for other diagnoses. The current study aimed to find additional evidence for validity, reliability, and usefulness of these instruments for children with RDs.
METHODS: In this study, 20 children with RDs (aged 4-12 years) participated; 16 were boys, and 13 children were unilaterally affected. Children were assessed using the Assisting Hand Assessment, the Unilateral Below Elbow Test, the Prosthetic Upper Extremity Functional Index, and ABILHAND-Kids. Construct and convergent validity of the instruments were studied focusing on predefined hypotheses and relationships with other instruments and the therapist's global assessment. Test-retest reliability was assessed in 10 children by means of the intraclass correlation coefficients and the smallest detectable differences.
RESULTS: For children with RDs, the Assisting Hand Assessment and the Prosthetic Upper Extremity Functional Index appeared to be the most valid function test and questionnaire according to the relationships found with type of RD, functional hand grips, and the therapist's global assessment of hand function. Regarding test-retest reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.82 to 0.91, and smallest detectable differences were acceptably small.
CONCLUSIONS: The current results contribute to the evidence that the instruments, especially the Assisting Hand Assessment and the Prosthetic Upper Extremity Functional Index, provide valid and reliable results in children with RDs.
TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic I.