Functional parameters

The functional parameter used in Maastricht UMC+ is hand grip strength. Functional capacity can be measured by the Karnofski index ( used in cancer-patients and patients on dialysis) or activity score.


Hand grip strength measurement

The maximal grip strength of the hand is an indication of peripheral muscle function and is related to the total amount of muscle mass in the body. Reduction of muscle strength can be a sign of muscle loss. A loss of 10% of muscle protein will decrease muscle strength. 


The execution of this measurement depends on the reference table (in kg/ force or in Newton/ force) and the kind of method you use. The general procedure is as follows: 
  • The hand grip strength measurement is carried out with the help of a hand grip dynamometer.
  • The hand grip should be adjusted so that the second joint of the forefinger flexes on the gripping bar of the dynamometer at a right angle.
  • The instrument should be adjusted for comfortable grip.
  • Rotate the red peak-hold needle counter-clockwise to zero.
  • Let the subject arrange the instrument so that it fits in his hand comfortably.
  • Ask him to squeeze with his maximum strength and encourage him.
  • After the subject has used the instrument, record the reading.
  • Let the subject relax the hand, reset the peak-hold needle to zero before recording new readings.
  • Repeat the measurement three times and note the best reading.
Reference values
The reference values of hand grip strength measurement can be found here.  
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