Objective : This study aimed to identify the characteristics of hand function according to age and sex in older adults.
Methods : This study included 103 healthy adults aged ≥60 years. The Korean version of TEMPA was used to assess hand function and a Jamar dynamometer and pinch gauge were used to assess hand and pinch strength in all participants.
Results : The results of hand function assessment showed that speed of task execution (mean = 121.32 s, SD = 18.07 s in subjects aged 60-69; mean = 144.97 s, SD = 28.43 s in subjects aged 70-79; and mean = 160.93 s, SD = 38.33 s in subjects aged ≥80, p < .001) and fine movement (mean score = -.14, SD = .40 in subjects aged 60-69; mean score = -.63, SD = 1.07 in subjects aged 70-79; and mean score = -.57, SD = .65 in subjects aged ≥80, p = .01) decreased significantly with age. The male group showed better speed of task execution (mean = 133.54, SD =22.83 in males vs. mean = 150.55, SD = 39.89 in females, p < .01) and fine movement (mean score = -.16, SD = .37 in males vs. mean score = -.46, SD =.58 in females, p < .01) than the female group. Hand strength also decreased significantly with age (p < .05, to p < .001).
Conclusion : Occupational therapists should be aware of the decline in hand function (especially speed of task execution and fine movement) and strength in older adults, as well as the need to provide interventions to treat this decline.