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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


VISSER, Marieta et al. In-hand manipulation of children aged four and five-years-old: translation, rotation and shift movements, in Bloemfontein. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2014, vol.44, n.2, pp.22-28. ISSN 2310-3833.

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Children are often referred to occupational therapy for deficits in hand function, specifically in-hand manipulation problems. There is however no standardised measurement instrument with age-related norms available that evaluates all in-hand manipulation components. The aim of the study was to describe the in-hand manipulation skills of a multicultural group of four- and five-year-old children in Bloemfontein. METHODS: A quantitative, descriptive study that included 98 four and 97 five-year-old English-speaking children was conducted. An observation checklist was compiled from non-standardised activities and standardised tests published in the literature to cover all aspects of in-hand manipulation. Video footage of each child performing the activities was used to score the checklists RESULTS: A total of 195 children participated in the study, with 98 (50.3%) in the four-year-old and 97 (49.7%) in the five-year-old groups. The following percentages of four-year-old children had successful task completion (without compensation): finger-to-palm translation 11.2%, simple rotation 29.6%, complex rotation 44.9%, complex rotation with stabilisation 13.3% and shift movements 68.4%. The following percentages of five-year-olds had successful completion (without compensation): finger-to-palm translation 22.7%, simple rotation 45.4%, complex rotation 46.4%, complex rotation with stabilisation 10.3% and shift movements 67.0% CONCLUSIONS: Although the findings cannot be generalised to the SA population, they do contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the developmental trends of four and five-year-old children's in-hand manipulation, by indicating that both age groups do not have fully developed in-hand manipulation and use compensatory methods. The observation checklist developed for and used in this study does however provide a comprehensive, inexpensive and quick method to assess IHM

Keywords : in-hand manipulation; assessment instruments; rotation; shift; children; translation.

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