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Changes In Hand Function In The Aging Adult As Determined By The Jebsen Test Of Hand Function

The Jebsen Test of Hand Function is used to assess a broad range of hand functions required for activities of daily living. The time needed to complete a variety of subtests is measured, with high scores indicative of abnormality. Normative values have been established for men and women in two age groups: 20 to 59 years and 60 to 94 years. The purpose of this study was to determine whether hand function, as measured by the Jebsen test, declines with age in subjects over the age of 60 years. A total of 121 men and women were given the test and grouped into the following age categories: (1) 60 to 69 years, (2) 70 to 79 years, and (3) 80 to 89 years. Hand function decreased with age in both men and women. There were significant positive correlations between age and time needed to complete the various subtests, and analyses of variance revealed significant differences between subjects in their 80s and those in their 60s and 70s. In only a few tasks were there significant differences between men and women within any age group. Because of the decrease in normal function with age, measurements obtained with the Jebsen test in the elderly should be compared with normative values that are obtained from similarly aged subjects.

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