Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-Hand Function Test: Assessment of Gross Motor Function in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the interrater reliability, construct validity, and sensitivity of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-Hand Function Test (TRI-HFT), within an interventional randomized control trial.


Twentyone participants with subacute C4 to C7 spinal cord injury (SCI) were recruited. Based on randomization, participants were allocated to either the functional electrical stimulation therapy group or the conventional occupational therapy group. Baseline and follow-up assessments of participants were videotaped. For testing interrater reliability, videotaped images were transferred to DVDs that were later observed by 2 observers. Construct validity was determined by comparing total scores on TRI-HFT to self-care subscore components of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) and FIM. To establish sensitivity of TRI-HFT, we compared pre- and posttreatment scores on all 3 measures (ie, TRI-HFT, FIM, and SCIM).


TRI-HFT was found to have high interrater reliability with an intercorrelation coefficient (ICC) of 0.98. Moderate to strong correlations were found between TRI-HFT total scores and self-care components of FIM and SCIM for both hands individually post therapy. Due to a floor effect of the FIM and SCIM, there was weak correlation between pretherapy scores of the said measures and TRI-HFT. TRI-HFT was found to be highly sensitive in determining difference in function pre and post therapy.


This study demonstrated that the TRI-HFT is a reliable and sensitive measure to assess unilateral hand gross motor function in persons with tetraplegia, with moderate to strong construct validity.

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