Pinch strength as an alternative measurement to handgrip strength in assessing individual's nutritional status.
(2016) Pinch strength as an alternative measurement to handgrip strength in assessing individual's nutritional status., no. 30.
Background: Pinch strength is emerging as a simple, inexpensive, easily performed bedside test to assess patients' nutritional status. Handgrip and pinch strengths are important parameters to determine hand function and have been used in clinical settings for decades. There is evidence supporting the corresponding relationship between functional ability of the patient and their nutritional status. There is developing evidence to support the use of pinch strength testing as a suitable comparable method for handgrip strength in assessing nutritional status. Early progress is being made but the data is still limited. It is important that studies are carried out in a healthy population in order to have reference values for use in the clinical setting. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the relationship of pinch strength with markers of muscle function; hand grip strength and sit to stand test and with common markers of body composition; BMI, MUAC, calf circumference (CC), fat mass (FM) and fat free mass (FFM) in a healthy non clinical population. Materials and Methods: Twelve healthy students from Queen Margaret University were included in this study. Participants filled in a survey about demographic data and Jamar dynamometer and pinch gauge were used to measure handgrip and pinch strengths. Markers of body composition were measured using a BIA scale. Results: Pinch strength was found to have more significant correlations with the variables than handgrip strength. Pinch strength had significant correlations with the other hand's pinch strength (r=0.89, p=0.001), right handgrip strength (r = 0.90, p = <0.001), FFM (r = 0.73, p = 0.007), MUAC (r = 0.66, p = 0.020), height (r = 0.63, p = 0.029), calf circumference (r = 0.74, p = 0.006) and with 1-minute STS test (r = 0.60, p = 0.037). No statistically significant correlations were found with either of the pinch strengths and weight, BMI or FM. Conclusion: The several correlations found between pinch strength and parameters of muscle function and body compositions are encouraging. However, more studies with bigger study populations in healthy individuals with wider age range are need to be able to gather adequate normative data for pinch strength to be used in practice as a indicator of nutritional status. Keywords: Hand strength, handgrip strength, pinch strength, body composition, nutritional status