Pediatric Physical Therapy

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Spring 2011 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 > Kinesthetic Sensitivity and Related Measures of Hand Sensiti...
Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318208cc81
Research Article

Kinesthetic Sensitivity and Related Measures of Hand Sensitivity in Children With Nonproficient Handwriting

Brink, Anne O'Leary PT; Jacobs, Anne Burleigh PT, PhD

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Purpose: This study compared measures of hand sensitivity and handwriting quality in children aged 10 to 12 years identified by their teachers as having nonproficient or proficient handwriting. We hypothesized that children with nonproficient handwriting have decreased kinesthetic sensitivity of the hands and digits.

Methods: Sixteen subjects without documented motor or cognitive concerns were tested for kinesthetic sensitivity, discriminate tactile awareness, diadochokinesia, stereognosis, and graphesthesia. Eight children were considered to have nonproficient handwriting; 8 had proficient handwriting. Nonparametric Mann-Whitney U tests were used to identify differences between groups on sensory tests.

Results: The 2 groups showed a statistically significant difference in handwriting legibility (P = .018). No significant difference was found on tests of kinesthetic sensitivity or other measures of sensation.

Conclusions: Children presenting with handwriting difficulty as the only complaint have similar sensitivity in hands and digits as those with proficient handwriting. Failure to detect differences may result from a small sample size.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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