Correlation of impairment and activity limitation after wrist fracture Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: During physiotherapy rehabilitation, judgements about activity limitation are often based on measurements of impairment. The present paper reports an investigation into the relationship between measurements of impairment and activity limitation in people with a fracture of the distal radius. METHOD: Twenty people with a fracture of the distal radius were referred to physiotherapy after conservative management of their fractures. Measurements of impairment (grip strength and range of wrist extension) and activity limitation (Jebsen Test of Hand Function) were taken at the second physiotherapy appointment after cast removal. The scores between these measurements were correlated. RESULTS: There were strong and significant correlations (-0.51 < rs < -0.76) between grip strength and the tasks of the Jebsen Test of Hand Function. The relationship between range of wrist extension and the Jebsen Test of Hand Function was weaker (-0.17 < rs < -0.55). However, subgroup analysis of those subjects with a Colles' type fracture of the distal radius demonstrated significant relationships between wrist extension and three of the seven activity tasks (-0.74 < rs < -0.84). CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence was found to support the physiotherapy practice of use of measurement of impairment to monitor progress in a person with a fracture of the distal radius.

publication date

  • June 2002