Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


This article is the author’s final published version in The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 7, Issue 4, Fall 2019.

The published version is available at Copyright © Walsh & Potvin

Publication made possible in part by support from the Thomas Jefferson University + Philadelphia University Open Access Fund


Background: Grip strength measurement using the handheld dynamometer is a key aspect of the evaluation of an upper extremity injury. The handheld dynamometer manufacturer has established research-based guidelines outlining body positioning during grip strength measurement. However, verbal direction guidelines, while provided, have not yet been shown to be most effective through research. This study seeks to determine whether the use of one of two types of verbal directions, with and without encouragements, resulted in greater grip strength as measured by the handheld dynamometer.

Method: The grip strength of healthy females (n = 60) was compared using two sets of prerecorded verbal directions administered in random order. All other procedures were constant and closely followed a standardized procedure.

Results: A statistically significant difference in the right- and left-hand grip strength (mean difference: 5.55 and 5.74 lb, respectively) was found between the two sets of verbal directions with verbal encouragement eliciting higher strength (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Verbal directions significantly affect grip strength scores in healthy females when evaluated using the handheld dynamometer. Evaluators should use verbal directions with encouragements when seeking to elicit maximum grip strength.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.