Scientific/Clinical Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 4, P517-519, October 2020

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Defining dexterity—Untangling the discourse in clinical practice

Published:January 16, 2020DOI:


      • We propose a new definition for dexterity highlighting both skills and outcomes.
      • Hand dexterity is a subset of hand function.
      • This definition may support focus and clarity in measurement and interventions.
      • Clinicians should attend to all the different dimensions of dexterity during assessment.
      • Clinicians should match assessment choices to clients' task demands and injuries.
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      JHT Read for Credit

      Quiz: # 715

      Record your answers on the Return Answer Form found on the tear-out coupon at the back of this issue or to complete online and use a credit card, go to There is only one best answer for each question.
      • # 1.
        Dexterity is
        • a.
        • b.
        • c.
          totally motor
        • d.
          totally sensory
      • # 2.
        Dexterity evaluation should
        • a.
          follow the IFC protocol
        • b.
          follow the ASHT protocol
        • c.
          be cross-sectional
        • d.
          be tailored to the specific needs of the patient
      • # 3.
        Traditional clinical use of the term dexterity
        • a.
          was originally defined by Maude Malick
        • b.
          depends on the handedness of the patient
        • c.
          is subject to semantic ambiguity
        • d.
          is not up for debate
      • # 4.
        A/an ___________________________ method was used to arrive at a consensus definition
        • a.
        • b.
        • c.
        • d.
      • # 5.
        Dexterity can be defined as the coordination of voluntary movement to accomplish an actual or simulated functional goal/task accurately, quickly, resourcefully and adapting to environment or change.
        • a.
        • b.
      When submitting to the HTCC for re-certification, please batch your JHT RFC certificates in groups of 3 or more to get full credit.