Can upper limb taping or exercises improve hand function, writing speed and self-perception of performance in adolescent school children?
By International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health | 31 July 2018
Type:Randomized
Sample Size:123
Outcome:Positive
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Background

The majority of students spend time in writing, which is a prime performance measure in examinations. Enhancement in handwriting should benefit students to attain better academic performance.

Objective

To assess the effectiveness of taping and exercises on hand function, writing speed, self-perception of writing and to compare these techniques.

Methods

A randomized control trial was conducted using cluster sampling in adolescent children across four schools in an urban city. A 4-week intervention study was conducted on 123 students divided into taping, exercise and control groups. Outcome measures were grip strength, pinch strength, 12-min writing speed test and the Writer Self-Perception Scale (WSPS). For intra-group analysis, a paired t-test was used for parametric values and the Wilcoxon signed rank test was used for non-parametric values. For inter-group analysis, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for parametric values and the Kruskal-Wallis test for non-parametric values was used.

Results

The taping group showed a significant improvement in grip strength (1.79 kg; p = 0.00), pinch strength [1.67 lb (757.4 g); p = 0.00] and writing speed (39.77 words/12 min; p = 0.00). The exercise group showed significant improvement in grip strength (2.09 kg; p = 0.00), pinch strength (1.28 lb; p = 0.00), writing speed (28.38 words/12 min; p = 0.00). In the control group, there was a significant increase in pinch strength (1.023 lb; p = 0.01) and writing speed (12.94 words/12 min; p = 0.02). Inter-group analysis showed significant difference in writing speed (p = 0.002) and grip strength (p = 0.00). There was no significant difference in perception (p = 0.071).

Conclusion

Taping and exercise are equally effective for enhancement of hand function, writing speed and self-perception in adolescent school children.

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