Joint Impairment and Hand Function in the Elderly

Susan L. Hughes*, James Gibbs, Perry Edelman, Ruth Singer, Rowland W. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


To test the contribution of joint impairment to observed hand function (grip strength and Williams Test) in the elderly, using a multivariate model. Cross‐sectional observational data (baseline data from an ongoing longitudinal study). Five hundred forty‐one persons over age 60, including continuing care retirement community (n = 222), homebound (n = 72), and ambulatory (n = 247) respondents. Mean age at assessment 76.7, (SD = 9.0). Independent variables included sociodemographics, physician measures of upper joint impairment, an index of comorbidities derived from physical examination or chart abstract, self‐assessed arthritis pain, depression, and anxiety. The dependent variables included grip strength and a modified Williams Test [Williams Test (M)]. The multiple regression explained 59% (Adjusted R2 = .59) of the variance in grip strength, with joint impairment accounting for a change in R2 of .07. Upper joint impairment and grip strength accounted for 3% and 5%, respectively, of the variance in the Williams Test (M) (total amount of explained variance = 45%). Demographics explain most of the variance in grip strength and performance on the Williams Test (M). Controlling for demographics, musculoskeletal disease represented by joint impairment is associated with diminished grip strength. Reduced grip strength is associated with poorer performance on the Williams Test (M).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-877
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Joint Impairment and Hand Function in the Elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this