In the Hungarian clinical practice, there are no standard recommendations currently for measuring the upper limb function, which would be desirable in the medical field, primarily in the physical and rehabilitation medicine. In my thesis, I studied and assessed the manual dexterity of patients suffering from nervous system disorders, especially from stroke, with the help of the enhanced version of the internationally recognized Nine Hole Peg Test, the intelligent Nine Hole Peg Tester.
The measurements from the former clinical tests of the device were gathered and processed in a retrospective study. Then new measurements were performed with the participation of healthy individuals and also with rehabilitation patients, where I examined the improvement of their upper limb dexterity over time. Using the new intelligent NHPT, metric data could be collected on different movement elements, thus adding more accurate features to the general assessment of manual skill, such as the time or percentage data of different movement phases or the variation of the measurements.
In the thesis, I show the usage of the NHPT to evaluate manual dexterity by analyzing the measurement results. However, I also provide new and valuable parameters for the i-NHPT, which are useable in the field of medicine, especially in rehabilitation practice. With these parameters, new information could be gained about the manual dexterity and its improvement tendency, which could help doctors and physiotherapists equally with the rehabilitation plan and treatment decisions. Additionally, patients could be presented with an accurate picture of their recovery process and the estimable future state of their upper extremity motor functions.
By analyzing the measurement results and elaborating new parameters my thesis confirmed that the new i-NHPT device is reliable and excellent for the assessment of upper limb dexterity and for following up patients in their rehabilitations, either at the hospital or at home.