Differences of Cutaneous Two-Point Discrimination Thresholds Among Students in Different Years of a Chiropractic Program

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to investigate if there were differences in the two-point discrimination (2-PD) of fingers among students at different stages of a chiropractic program.

Methods

This study measured 2-PD thresholds for the dominant and nondominant index finger and dominant and nondominant forearm in groups of students in a 4-year chiropractic program at the International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Measurements were made using digital calipers mounted on a modified weighing scale. Group comparisons were made among students for each year of the program (years 1, 2, 3, and 4). Analysis of the 2-PD threshold for differences among the year groups was performed with analysis of variance.

Results

The mean 2-PD threshold of the index finger was higher in the students who were in the higher year groups. Dominant-hand mean values for year 1 were 2.93 ± 0.04 mm and 1.69 ± 0.02 mm in year 4. There were significant differences at finger sites (P < .05) among all year groups compared with year 1. There were no significant differences measured at the dominant forearm between any year groups (P = .08). The nondominant fingers of the year groups 1, 2, and 4 showed better 2-PD compared with the dominant finger. There was a significant difference (P = .005) between the nondominant (1.93 ± 1.15) and dominant (2.27 ± 1.14) fingers when all groups were combined (n = 104).

Conclusions

The results of this study demonstrated that the finger 2-PD of the chiropractic students later in the program was more precise than that of students in the earlier program.

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