The rapid exchange grip strength test and the detection of submaximal grip effort
Westbrook, A.P.; Tredgett, M.W.; Davis, T.R.C.; Oni, J.A.
Journal of Hand Surgery 27(2): 329-333
This study assessed the reliability of the rapid exchange grip test for detecting submaximal grip effort, particularly evaluating its performance with motivated subjects with genuine hand weakness secondary to pain. Fifty normal participants performing with maximum effort then feigning hand weakness and 50 patients recovering from carpal tunnel surgery were studied. The results showed that the dynamic measure of grip strength equaled or exceeded the static measure in 28% of maximally performing participants (72% specificity), 58% of the carpal tunnel decompression patients (42% specificity), and 74% of participants giving submaximal grip effort (74% sensitivity). Sensitivities and specificities for other criteria of a positive test were also determined. Our findings suggest that the rapid exchange grip strength test cannot reliably detect voluntary submaximal effort.