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


I am a graduate student in the Occupational Therapy program at Towson University. I am interested in learning about the Manual Ability Measure and would like a copy of the conversion table. I tried emailing the posted address, but delivery failed, so I figured I'd try this.


Feb. 22, 2015

Chris Clark,  OTS,  Towson UniversityFebruary 22, 2015
Towson, MD

Dear authors,

I would appreciate if I can have a copy of the MAM 20 test and the conversion chart for possible use in our clinical studies.


Moussa CHALAH, MD, PhD student

Moussa CHALAH,  MDOctober 28, 2014

I attempted to email the author to obtain a copy of the assessment and conversion chart, however, I got an auto reply stating she no longer worked there. If anyone could forward these to me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. kbrucato@ogh.org

Kelly Brucato,  OTRAugust 04, 2014
Olean, NY

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