Assessing dexterity function: A comparison of two alternatives for the NIH toolbox

Ying Chih Wang*, Susan R. Magasi, Richard W. Bohannon, David B. Reuben, Heather E. McCreath, Deborah J. Bubela, Richard C. Gershon, William Z. Rymer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Study Design: Clinical measurement. Introduction: Manual dexterity is an important aspect of motor function across the age span. Purpose of the Study: To identify a single measure of manual dexterity for inclusion in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. Methods: A total of 340 subjects participated in our study. Two alternatives, Rolyan ® 9-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) and Grooved Pegboard test, were compared by assessing their score range across age groups (3-85 yr) and their test-retest reliability, concurrent, and known groups validity. Results: The 9-HPT was a simple, efficient, and low-cost measure of manual dexterity appropriate for administration across the age range. Test-retest reliability coefficients were 0.95 and 0.92 for right and left hands, respectively. The 9-HPT correlated with Bruininks-Oseretsky Test (BOT) of Motor Proficiency, dexterity subscale, at -0.87 to -0.89 and with Purdue Pegboard at -0.74 to -0.75. The Grooved Pegboard had good test-retest reliability (0.91 and 0.85 for right and left hands, respectively). The Grooved Pegboard correlated with BOT at -0.50 to -0.63 and with Purdue Pegboard at -0.73 to -0.78. However, the Grooved Pegboard required longer administration time and was challenging for the youngest children and oldest adults. Conclusions: Based on its feasibility and measurement properties, the 9-HPT was recommended for inclusion in the motor battery of the NIH Toolbox.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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