Predictors of Hand Function in Older Persons: A Two‐Year Longitudinal Analysis

Susan L. Hughes*, James Gibbs, Dorothy Dunlop, Ruth Singer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To validate a hierarchical model of hand function in older persons, using longitudinal data. DESIGN: Longitudinal observational study (2‐year data from an ongoing longitudinal study). SUBJECTS: 689 persons older than age 60, including Continuing Care Retirement Community (n = 230), homebound (n = 204), and ambulatory (n = 255) respondents. Mean age at baseline 76.6 (SD = 8.8). MEASUREMENT: Independent variables included sociodemographics, physician measures of upper joint impairment, self‐reported comorbidity, arthritis pain, depression, and anxiety. The dependent variables included grip strength and a timed manual performance test. MAIN RESULTS: Using generalized estimated equations (GEE) to test our hierarchial model, we found that gender and upper extremity joint impairment were the strongest predictors of a longitudinal measure of grip strength. Grip strength, in turn, along with demographics, comorbidity, and a measure of psychological status, was significantly related to timed manual performance. CONCLUSIONS: The longitudinal analyses confirmed a previous cross‐sectional finding that upper extremity joint impairment contributes significantly to reduced grip strength, which, in turn, contributes to reduced hand performance on a timed test. 1995 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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