ABILHAND Evaluation Summary

  What does the tool measure? Manual ability of the upper extremity.
  What types of clients can the tool be used for? The ABILHAND can be used with, but is not limited to, patients with stroke.
  Is this a screening or assessment tool? Assessment
Time to administer 10-30 minutes
  • AH-RA for rheumatoid arthritis (46 items, 4 levels)
  • AH-RA revised version (27 items, 3 levels)
  • ABILHAND-ULA for upper limb amputees (22 items; 4 levels)
  • SSC-adapted ABILHAND for systemic sclerosis (26 items, 3 levels)
  • ABILHAND – neuromuscular age-independent version (22 items)
  • ABILHAND-Kids (21 items)
Other Languages French, English, Swedish, Dutch, Italian
Measurement Properties

Internal consistency:
– Order of difficulty of items has been confirmed by Rasch analysis.
– 1 study reported a high item reliability index.
– 1 study reported high person separation reliability.

No studies have reported on the intra-rater reliability of the ABILHAND.

No studies have reported on the inter-rater reliability of the ABILHAND.

No studies have reported on the test-retest reliability of the ABILHAND.


– One study reported that the 23 items of the ABILHAND define a common continuum of manual ability, and items are coherent with the overall questionnaire and contribute to the measurement of manual ability.
– One study examined stability of item difficulty of the ABILHAND and found that item hierarchy was substantially retained across different groupings (impairment, age, sex, ability).
– One study reported that scores explained 84% of observed variance. The main factor across the residuals explained only 11.4% of the residual variance (1.8% of the total variance).

Predictive Validity:
– No studies have reported on the predictive validity of the ABILHAND.

Concurrent Validity:
– 1 study examined the concurrent validity of the ABILHAND among patients with chronic upper limb impairment resulting from conditions including stroke and reported adequate correlations with the Box and Block Test, Jamar handgrip and Purdue pegboard test, and an adequate negative correlation with the Nine Hole Peg Test.

Known Groups:
– One study reported highly significant differences in ABILHAND scores between patients with tetraparesis, hemiparesis, other neurological impairments (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia) and healthy subjects.
– One study reported no correlation between ABILHAND scores and country, age, sex, time since stroke, affected side, lesion site or tactile sensitivity; poor correlation with grip strength and manual dexterity of the unaffected limb; poor negative correlation with depression; adequate correlation with grip strength and manual dexterity of the affected limb; and excellent correlation with upper limb motricity.

Convergent/Discriminant Validity
No studies have reported on the convergent/discriminant validity of the ABILHAND.

  Floor/Ceiling Effects No studies have reported on the floor/ceiling effects of the ABILHAND.
  Does the tool detect change in patients?

– No studies have reported on the responsiveness of the ABILHAND.
– One study reported that the ABILHAND demonstrates 92% sensitivity and 80% specificity at a lower cutoff score of 80/100.

  Acceptability The ABILHAND is non-invasive and quick to administer. The items are considered reflective of real-life activities (i.e. ecologically valid).
Feasibility The ABILHAND is portable and is suitable for administration in various settings. The assessment is quick to administer and requires minimal specialist equipment or training.
How to obtain the tool? The ABILHAND is available in Penta, M., Tesio, L., Arnould, C., Zancan, A., & Thonnard, J-L. (2001). The ABILHAND questionnaire as a measure of manual ability in chronic stroke patients: Rasch-based validation and relationship to upper limb impairment. Stroke, 32, 1627-34

* Initially developed for a traumatic-brain injured population, the psychometric properties of the tool with this population are described in the administration guide of the too