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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


MARTINS, Júlia C. et al. Assessment of grip strength with the modified sphygmomanometer test: association between upper limb global strength and motor function. Braz. J. Phys. Ther. [online]. 2015, vol.19, n.6, pp.498-506.  Epub Oct 06, 2015. ISSN 1809-9246.


Grip strength, commonly evaluated with the handgrip dynamometer, is a good indicator of upper limb (UL) function in stroke subjects and may reflect the global strength deficits of the whole paretic UL. The Modified Sphygmomanometer Test (MST) also provides objective and adequate measures at low-cost.


To assess whether grip strength values obtained by using the MST and those obtained by using a handgrip dynamometer would present similar correlations with the global strength and motor function of the paretic UL in subjects with stroke, both in the subacute and chronic phases.


Measures of grip strength (MST and handgrip dynamometer), UL global strength (MST and hand-held dynamometer), and UL motor function (Fugl-Meyer motor assessment scale) were obtained with 33 subacute and 44 chronic stroke subjects. Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated and Stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed to investigate predictor variables of grip strength (α=0.05).


Significant correlations of similar magnitude were found between measures of global strength of the paretic UL and grip strength assessed with both the MST (0.66≤r≤0.78) and handgrip dynamometer (0.66≤r≤0.78) and between UL motor function and grip strength assessed with both the MST (0.50≤rs≤0.51) and hand-held dynamometer (0.50≤rs≤0.63) in subacute and chronic stroke subjects. Only global strength remained as a significant predictor variable of grip strength for the MST (0.43≤R2≤0.61) and for the handgrip dynamometer (0.44≤R2≤0.61) for both stroke subgroups.


Grip strength assessed with the MST could be used to report paretic UL global strength.

Keywords : rehabilitation; physical therapy; stroke; muscle strength; hand strength; upper extremity.

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