(P9)| Volume 25, SUPPLEMENT 2, S3, November 2022

Does phalanx range of motion correlate to buttoning speed in adults?

      INTRODUCTION: Hand usage is substantial in physical sports and daily activities. However, the use of fingers with physical activities requires a certain range of motion when discussing improving or maintaining fine motor skill development, especially with older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between phalanx flexibility and the speed of buttoning down a shirt.
      METHODS: Subjects (n = 15)) from a Midwestern facility volunteered to participate in this study (age: 50.63 + 2.6 years). All participants were healthy with no upper extremity injuries. A valid and reliable digit instrument (Baseline 12-1015 model finger goniometer, White Plains, NY, USA) was selected to measure distal, middle phalanx flexion and phalanx extension of the forefinger of the subject’s dominant hand. All subjects sat on a chair resting their elbows and forearms in a pronated position on a table while the researcher recorded the degrees of range of motion (ROM) using the finger goniometer for distal, middle phalanx flexion and phalanx extension of the dominant hand. Participants were then provided a 5-button (1.27 cm button width) shirt made by the same manufacturer. All sized shirts were fitted for each participant according to their shirt size before the time trials. The researcher digitally timed the participants in .001 seconds on how fast the participant could button down the shirt taking the best time trial of 3 attempts. Pearson correlations were analyzed using SPSS version 27.
      RESULTS: The relationship between the variables displayed a strong negative correlation between the dominant distal phalanx flexion ROM and buttoning speed (r = -0.73). Other results displayed a weak positive correlation between the middle phalanx digit ROM to best buttoning speed time (r = .06), and finger extension ROM compared to best buttoning speed (r = 0.03) trial.
      DISCUSSION: Major significance was found between the dominant forefinger distal phalanx flexion ROM and the fastest trial of buttoning down a shirt (r = -0.73). This indicates total grip strength may not be the primary or sole intervention when attempting to improve efficiency of fine motor function in physical or daily activities.
      APPLICATION TO THE FIELD: This discovery could change therapy methodologies or physical training techniques with care givers or therapists on improving or restoring this fine motor skill. Replication of a sport skill or daily task might not be the only practical use towards skill restoration.
      All co-authors have no conflict of interest towards the relevance of this submission.