Credentials Display

Gretchen Bachman, OTD, OTR/L, MBA, CHT; Josh MacDonald, OTR/L, CHT; Rhian Sage, OTD, OTR/L


Background: Hand therapy clinical rotations are 12 weeks, and one common anecdotal change frequently expressed is an increase in hand strength. Quantifiable measures of change are not documented in the literature. The purpose of this study is to determine if students experience significant increases in strength during a clinical rotation.

Methods: This study is a quasi-experimental, double-blinded, non-randomized sample of convenience. Grip and pinch strength were assessed pre, mid, and post clinical rotation. Demographic data were collected and reported. Paired t-tests were used to compare means between groups. SPSS 27.0 was used for data analysis.

Results: After removing incomplete data sets, n = 12. Grip strength in the left hand showed a significant increase from pretest to posttest. Grip strength in the right hand showed no difference. Significant increases occurred in both right and left tripod pinch and lateral pinch strength from pretest to posttest. A significant increase was not observed for 2-point pinch strength.

Discussion: This study provides insight into the changes in hand strength in students after a clinical rotation in hand therapy. Significant changes in grip and pinch strength do occur during this time. Increased load in grip and pinch patterns may have clinical implications for therapists practicing long term.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.