J Frailty Aging. 2014;3(3):142-7. doi: 10.14283/jfa.2014.15.
A New Grip Strength Measuring Device for Detailed Evaluation of Muscle Contraction among the Elderly.
BACKGROUND: We developed a new grip strength measuring device, which considers the time axis, for evaluating muscle contraction in detail in elderly people.
OBJECTIVES: To present the novel device and preliminary results concerning agility in gripping.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis.
PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and twenty-one older persons (48 men and 73 women, mean age 74.4 years) referring for memory disorders to the outpatient clinic of our institute.
MEASUREMENTS: A novel device taking advantage of an industrial force-gauge was developed for measuring gripping performance. The instrument graphically described participants' strength production. Nine indices were derived from four points identified by the graph: 1) starting point ("Go signal"), 2) time when gripping starts, 3) turning point (TP) when the inclination of the curve depicting strength production changes, and 4) peak of strength production. Results obtained from the study sample of older persons were compared (as ratios) to a control group of 30 healthy young adults in their thirties in order to calculate age-related decline rates. Differences between right and left side were compared.
RESULTS: A significant difference was observed between right and left hands concerning the time to reach peak of strength, and time from TP to strength peak in both men and women. For women, the following indices were also significantly different: time to reach TP, strength at TP, time from TP to strength peak, curve inclination from TP to strength peak, and ratio of TP strength divided by peak strength.
CONCLUSION: Declines in several indices of gripping agility were measured. The parameters which were more closely related to time than strength itself showed significant differences between right and left hands, especially in women.