The Manual Ability Measure

An occupation-based assessment of hand function.

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 discovered that the author is no longer at Columbia which is why the email address is in the article no longer works. I found her at: cchen5@utep.edu

Debra KerriganFebruary 05, 2016

I am also looking for the conversion chart for the MAM. I would appreciate if someone could email it to me at charissa@nocotherapy.com.

Charissa January 02, 2016

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

Read all comments (67) >>


Email: *

Email, first name, comment and security code are required fields; all other fields are optional. With the exception of email, any information you provide will be displayed with your comment.

First * Last
Title Field Facility
City State

Comments: *
To prevent comment spam, please type the code you see below into the code field before submitting your comment. If you cannot read the numbers in the below image, reload the page to generate a new one.

Enter the security code below: *

Fields marked with an * are required.

View the Latest from ADVANCE


Search Jobs


Back to Top

© 2017 Merion Matters

660 American Avenue Suite 300, King of Prussia PA 19406