The Manual Ability Measure

An occupation-based assessment of hand function.

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Below is Christine Chen's occupation-based, 20-question MAM hand assessment, as described in the cover story of the July 18, 2011, ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners print edition. The author strongly urges clinicians not to just add up the ratings but use a Rasch-derived MAM measure which can be found in a conversion table (from raw sum scores to the MAM measures). The MAM measure is an interval measure calibrated by the Rasch computer software; it ranges from 0 (no ability) to 100 (high ability). The conversion table for the MAM-20 can be obtained from the author at ccc2114@columbia.edu.

The Manual Ability Measure-20

Patient ________________________________________ Today's Date: _____________

Gender _______ Age ______ Diagnosis _____________________________________   

Indicate if this is initial, follow-up or discharge assessment _______________________

Any surgery done to the hand(s)?  Yes / No       (Circle one)

If so, date ________________

Dominant Hand: Right / Left / Both / Don't know   (Circle one)

Affected Hand:  Right / Left / Both / Don't know   (Circle one)

Please put a number to indicate how easy or how hard it is for you to do the following tasks.







A little hard

Very hard

I can't do

Not applicable

3=A little hard:
Takes longer, more effort, or pain / discomfort.

2=Very hard: Others do the task for me unless no one is around.

NA= I almost never do the task even before I had my hand condition.


Choose only ONE number, definitions see above

(       )

 1. wring a towel

(       )

 2. open a medicine bottle with a child proof cap/top

(       )

 3. cut nails with a nail clipper

(       )

 4. open a wide-mouth bottle previously opened

(       )

 5. cut meat on a plate

(       )

 6. tie shoes with laces

(       )

 7. button clothes (medium sized buttons)

(       )

 8. pick up a ½ full water pitcher

(       )

 9. zip jacket

(       )

10. write 3-4 lines legibly

(       )

11. turn key (to open a door)

(       )

12. take things/cards out of a wallet

(       )

13. squeeze toothpaste onto a toothbrush

(       )

14. handle/count money (bills and coins)

(       )

15. brush or comb hair

(       )

16. wash hands

(       )

17. use spoon or fork

(       )

18. brush teeth

(       )

19. dial or key in telephone numbers

(       )

20. use hand(s) to eat a sandwich


Hi I would appreciate if you could give me a copy of the MAM test and conversion chart and any other relevant information for possible use with our clients clients to measure improvements.


Akehsan Dahlan,  Dr,  Education / Hospitals April 11, 2014
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mary, please email the author of this story, Christine Chen, at ccc2114@columbia.edu to request the conversion chart.

Danielle Bullen ADVANCEFebruary 27, 2014

Is it possible for you to send me a copy of the assessment and the conversion chart?
What do you think of the patient functional assessment form?

Mary Thomas,  occupational therapist/hand th,  Select Physical TherapyFebruary 26, 2014
Sugar Land, TX

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