Detecting Submaximal Effort in Power Grip by Observation of the Strength Distribution Pattern

Author(s): Gulke J, Wachter NJ, Katzmaier P, Ebinger T, Mentzel M

Source: J Hand Surg 32E:677-683, 2008.


The authors studied 50 healthy subjects with the TUB-sensor glove (International Electronics and Engineering, Luxembourg) to determine finger pressure patterns with 2 different grips: maximal effort and submaximal effort.  In maximal strength gripping, the total measured grip strength was distributed relatively evenly over all four fingers.  In submaximal strength gripping, the little finger was involved very little, contributing between 14% and 15% of total strength.     

Submaximal effort with gripping can be related to several factors, including hand pain, finger deformity, joint instability, and malingering.  In the absence of identifiable organic disease, rapid grip exchange with a dynamometer and strength values at different positions of the dynamometer are useful methods to assess for poor patient effort.  Application of the TUB-sensor glove may provide a more objective means of determining a pretended loss of grip strength: the small finger is relatively neglected in this instance.

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