(P13)| Volume 25, SUPPLEMENT 2, S4-S5, November 2022

Does distal phalanx pinch strength correlate to buttoning speed in female adults?

      INTRODUCTION: Hand usage is substantial in physical sports and daily activities. However, the use of fingers with physical activities requires force between the thumb and index finger 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 distal phalanx pinch strength and the speed of buttoning down a shirt.
      METHODS: Subjects (n = 20)) from a Midwestern facility volunteered to participate in this study (age: 40.75 + 13.56 years). All female participants were healthy with no upper extremity injuries. A Jamar Hydraulic Pinch Gauge, (model# H&PC-10192; JLW Instruments) was used to measure the pinch strength of the thumb and index distal phalanx of the subject’s dominant hand. All subjects stood upright in a comfortable stance, grasped the dynamometer’s circular head with their opposite hand, and placed their dominant distal thumb on the anterior finger placement and index distal phalanx on the posterior finger location. Subjects were given 2 attempts to squeeze both finger digits at maximal effort while the researcher recorded the best pinch strength in pounds. Participants were then provided a 5-button (1.0 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 seconds on how fast the participant could button down the shirt, starting with both hands touching the top button, taking the best time trial of 2 attempts. A Pearson correlation using SPSS analyzed if a relationship existed between the 2 variables.
      RESULTS: The relationship between both variables displayed a moderate negative correlation between the dominant index finger phalanx and thumb digit pinch strength to buttoning speed in seconds (r = -0.412; p < .036).
      DISCUSSION: Past therapies have focused on repetition of fine motor skills to develop the ability to button a shirt. The relationship between pinch strength of the thumb and index finger (r = -0.412) could create an ability to change current therapy methods and focus on pinch strength skill development to restore fine motor skills of the fingers, especially with sport or activities of daily living (ADL).
      APPLICATION TO THE FIELD: This discovery could change therapy or physical training towards restoration of this motor skill with care givers or therapists. Replication of a sport skill or daily task might not be the only practical use towards motor skill restoration.
      All co-authors have no conflict of interest towards the relevance of this submission.