Scholarly article on topic 'Clinical Utility of the Action Research Arm Test, the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Motor Activity Log for Hemiparetic Upper Extremity Functions After Stroke: A Pilot Study'

Clinical Utility of the Action Research Arm Test, the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Motor Activity Log for Hemiparetic Upper Extremity Functions After Stroke: A Pilot Study Academic research paper on "Medical engineering"

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Abstract of research paper on Medical engineering, author of scientific article — Adelina K.Y. Ng, Daniel P.K. Leung, Kenneth N.K. Fong

Objective To investigate the use of the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT), and the Motor Activity Log (MAL) in patients with stroke and different degrees of severity of hemiparetic upper extremity impairment in a community centre in Hong Kong. Methods Twelve participants with stroke, who resided in the community, were recruited by convenience sampling. Outcome measures included the ARAT, the WMFT, and the MAL, and were conducted on a single occasion. Results The ARAT, the WMFT, and the amount of use (AOU) and quality of movement (QOM) of the MAL were highly correlated with the hemiplegic upper limb functional levels. The ARAT and the WMFT were interrelated (r = 0.96). Both the AOU and the QOM subscales of the MAL were highly correlated with the ARAT (r = 0.91; r = 0.97) and the WMFT (r = 0.86; r = 0.92). Conclusions Occupational therapists should consider administering the WMFT first, and the ARAT can then be used to identify problems in certain areas of upper extremity function, such as grasping, gripping and pinching, in order to guide treatment. The MAL is highly recommended as an outcome measure across patients, and the results could guide treatment planning.

Academic research paper on topic "Clinical Utility of the Action Research Arm Test, the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Motor Activity Log for Hemiparetic Upper Extremity Functions After Stroke: A Pilot Study"

HKJOT 2008;18(1):20-27

Clinical Utility of the Action Research Arm Test, the Wolf Motor Function Test

and the Motor Activity Log for Hemiparetic Upper Extremity Functions After Stroke: A Pilot Study

Adelina K.Y. Ng1'2, Daniel P.K. Leung2'3 and Kenneth N.K. Fong4

Objective: To investigate the use of the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT), and the Motor Activity Log (MAL) in patients with stroke and different degrees of severity of hemiparetic upper extremity impairment in a community centre in Hong Kong. Methods: Twelve participants with stroke, who resided in the community, were recruited by convenience sampling. Outcome measures included the ARAT, the WMFT, and the MAL, and were conducted on a single occasion.

Results: The ARAT, the WMFT, and the amount of use (AOU) and quality of movement (QOM) of the MAL were highly correlated with the hemiplegic upper limb functional levels. The ARAT and the WMFT were interrelated (r = 0.96). Both the AOU and the QOM subscales of the MAL were highly correlated with the ARAT (r = 0.91; r=0.97) and the WMFT (r=0.86; r=0.92). conclusion: Occupational therapists should consider administering the WMFT first, and the ARAT can then be used to identify problems in certain areas of upper extremity function, such as grasping, gripping and pinching, in order to guide treatment. The MAL is highly recommended as an outcome measure across patients, and the results could guide treatment planning.

KEY WORDS: Assessment • Hemiparetic upper extremity • Stroke

Introduction

Functional recovery of the hemiparetic upper extremity after stroke is a great challenge faced by rehabilitation professionals. Over 60% of chronic stroke patients have motor dysfunction in their upper extremities, while only 5% demonstrate complete functional recovery (Dobkin, 2005). In recent years, a number of upper extremity interventions, such as constraint-induced movement therapy, functional electrical stimulation and robotic arm therapy, have been developed to improve motor outcomes

in patients with stroke. Thus, evaluating the recovery of the upper extremity after intervention is an important issue.

Many functional assessments have been developed over the years to assess the recovery of hemiparetic upper extremity after stroke. These may be qualitative or quantitative, with some measuring function across a cross-section of disability and others are based on a hierarchical scoring system. One of the examples to measure cross-section disability is the Jebsen Hand Function Test (Jebsen et al., 1969; Jebsen et al., 1971), which requires certain prerequisites of motor function. Another

Occupational Therapy Department, Tai Po Hospital, 2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 3Elderly Resources Centre, Hong Kong Housing Society, 4Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Reprint requests and correspondence to: Dr. Kenneth N.K. Fong, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong SAR, China. E-mail: rsnkfong@inet.polyu.edu.hk

Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy ©2008 Elsevier. All rights reserved.

example of a hierarchical scoring format is the Hong Kong version of the Functional Test for the Hemiplegic Upper Extremity (FTHUE-HK) (Fong et al., 2004; Wilson et al., 1984). Another well-known example of a qualitative test is the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) (Fugl-Meyer et al., 1975), while an example of a quantitative test is the Box and Block Test (Mathiowetz et al., 1985). One of the examples of using real-life questionnaires is the Motor Activity Log (MAL), which aims to tap a patient's actual hand use in real-life situations (Taub et al., 2006). However, there is no consensus concerning which upper extremity motor assessment is best for routinely assessing recovery of motor function in the upper limb after stroke.

Recently, the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT), and the MAL have been extensively used and frequently studied ever since constraint-induced therapy began being widely applied (Myint et al., 2008; Page et al., 2005; Sterr et al., 2002; Wolf et al., 2006). However, the ARAT and WMFT share a similar construct and are both laboratory tests based on a hierarchy of functional tasks. Moreover, researchers have found a discrepancy between laboratory hand function tests and the capacity of hand functioning in real-life situations (Uswatte, Giuliani, et al., 2006).

Since it is difficult for therapists to choose which assessment is clinically useful and at which stages of hand recovery an assessment should be used in clinical practice, to avoid duplication of resources, this study investigated the use of the ARAT, WMFT and MAL in patients with stroke and with different degrees of impairment in a hemiparetic upper extremity. We believe that the results will provide useful information for clinicians in considering when and where the ARAT, WMFT and MAL should be used for stroke patients in different settings.

Methods

Participants

We recruited 12 participants with stroke and different degrees of impairment in hemiparetic upper limbs, who resided in the community and belonged to a self-help organisation in Hong Kong, into the study using convenience sampling. The criteria for inclusion were as follows: (1) they should suffer from chronic stroke (time since onset > 6 months), (2) they should be able to maintain a sitting position for at least 30 minutes, and (3) they should have no receptive language problems and be able to follow a 1-2 step command. The exclusion criteria were as follows: (1) excessive pain in the affected limb on a visual analogue scale scored four or above, (2) medical instability, and (3) cognitive performance as scored 16/30 or

below in the Mini-mental State Examination (Cantonese version) (Chiu et al., 1994). All participants were informed about the study and signed a consent form before the study was carried out.

Instruments

The Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) The ARAT is a laboratory-based test with a standardised administrative procedure (Yozbatiran et al., 2008). It consists of 19 items on arm motor function, including both proximal and distal parts of the hand. The ARAT is based on the assumption that complex upper extremity movement involved in daily activities can be assessed through four basic movements: grasping, gripping, pinching, and gross motor (Rabadi & Rabadi, 2006). Each of these subtests is arranged hierarchically. If the subject passes the first test, there is no need to administer it further, and he/she scores top marks for the subtest; if the subject fails the first and second tests, he/she scores zero, and no further subtests need be performed (Yozbatiran et al., 2008). Each item is given an ordinal score of 0, 1, 2 or 3, with a higher score indicating better motor function. The total score on the ARAT is the sum of those 19 items and ranges from 0 to 57 (Yozbatiran et al., 2008).

The ARAT is commonly used in constraint-induced movement therapy (Hakkennes & Keating, 2005). It has a high inter-rater reliability of 0.98 (Wagenaar et al., 1990) and test-retest reliability of 0.99 (Van der Lee et al., 2001). Van der Lee et al. (2001) found that the ARAT was more responsive than the FMA in people with a median time of 3.6 years since stroke.

The Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) The WMFT is a laboratory-based test designed to be especially useful in assessing patients with stroke. More than 20 constraint-induced movement therapy studies have used the WMFT as a primary outcome measure. The WMFT contains 17 items, with two strength-based tasks and 15 function-based tasks. The tasks are arranged in order of complexity. The first half of the WMFT involves simple movement of the upper extremity and primarily focuses on proximal parts, while the second half involves tasks performed in daily life and mainly focuses on the distal parts of the hand. The strength-based tasks are measured by weight lift and grip strength, while the function-based tasks are timed and graded on a 6-point scale, with higher scores indicating better functional ability.

The WMFT is a reliable tool with a high inter-rater reliability of 0.88, a test-retest reliability of 0.95, and internal consistency coefficients of 0.92 for the functional ability scale; corresponding coefficients for the time scale are 0.95, 0.88

and 0.92, respectively (Taub et al., 2006). The criterion validity against the FMA ranges from 0.86 to 0.89 (Whitall et al., 2006). A recent study in Hong Kong showed that the test was sensitive enough to distinguish 86.7% of stroke cases into different Brunnstrom's stages of recovery (Ang & Man, 2006).

The Motor Activity Log (MAL)

The MAL is a questionnaire administered through either a proxy interview or self-rating by respondents that asks about how frequently and how well they use their impaired arm in 30 activities of daily living (ADLs) over a certain period of time in a semi-structured interview (Taub et al., 2006). There are 30 activities covering different self-care activities (e.g. hand washing, wearing socks and shoes, picking up a cup for drinking, etc.), household tasks (e.g. turning a light switch on and off, opening a drawer or door of a fridge, etc.), and some other tasks needed in community living (e.g. getting out of a car, turning a door knob). Respondents are asked to rate these activities on two scales: (1) the amount of use (AOU) and (2) the quality of movement (QOM), when performing these 30 tasks in real-life situations. On the AOU scale, respondents are asked how frequently they use their weaker arm on a scale from zero (never use) to five (as often as before the stroke); while, on the QOM scale, they are asked to rate how well the weaker arm performs these tasks from 0 to 5. For example, a score of 1 means the weaker arm was moved but was not helpful in the task, while a score of 5 means the weaker arm was as good as before the stroke.

The original version of the MAL consisted of 14 items and was developed in the original constraint-induced movement therapy study by Taub et al. (1993). Sixteen items were then added, and eight were replaced with other items in the ADL, forming the 30-item MAL version. This 30-item MAL was validated by Uswatte, Taub, et al. (2006) and was found to be reliable with a high internal consistency (alpha > 0.81) and test-retest reliability (r > 0.91). It yielded a high convergent validity with an objective accelerometry. Uswatte and Taub (2005) recommended structured interview procedures for the MAL. Since the MAL has to be administered through a proxy interview or self-rating by local respondents or conducted in a semi-structured interview, the original version was translated into Chinese by the research team of this study. The present version used in the study is a prototype of the Chinese translation developed by the investigators and is listed in the Appendix.

The Functional Test for the Hemiplegic Upper Extremity (Hong Kong version) (FTHUE-HK) The FTHUE-HK is a tool for evaluation of upper limb function as a whole. It was developed originally according to

Brunnstrom's developmental stages of stoke recovery in a hierarchy of seven functional difficulty levels (Wilson et al., 1984). Grading is on a pass-fail basis of activities within each level. The Hong Kong version was validated locally by the test content to 18 culturally relevant activities, and was found to have good validity and reliability (Fong et al., 2004).

Procedures

This study was cross-sectional. The ARAT, WMFT and MAL were randomised in order and were administered with the FTHUE-HK to participants on a single occasion. The purpose of and time for completing the tests were explained to the participants.

The ARAT was administered and the equipment was set up according to a standardised approach (Yozbatiran et al., 2008). All ARAT items were performed by the paretic upper extremity unilaterally. Tasks of the ARAT were tested one by one, but once participants finished the first items of the subtest, other items in the same subtest could be omitted. The therapist gave a score according to the scoring criteria by observing the performance of each task. The sum of each subtest gave a total score for the ARAT.

For the WMFT, this study tested only 15 functional tasks. Participants were asked to sit comfortably on a chair in front of a table with the equipment properly placed. Verbal instructions and visual demonstrations were given for instruction in the tasks one by one before the participants performed them. After it was confirmed that the participants understood the instructions, they were told to perform the tasks with their paretic upper extremity. The therapist rated their performance of the tasks on the 6-point scoring scale. The sum of each item was divided by 15 to yield an average score for data analysis.

The MAL was administered once in the same cross-section by interviewing the participants about their hemiparetic upper limb use in the 30 daily living activities over 1 week. The purpose and rating methods of the MAL were explained before commencing the questionnaire. Both subscales in the MAL (the AOU and the QOM) were shown to the participants while each item was covered in a semi-structured interview. Verbal explanations were given when participants showed doubt on the item descriptions or the rating scale while completing the MAL.

Statistical Analysis

We performed data analysis using SPSS version 14.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). We calculated descriptive statistics as appropriate to the data using SPSS, and adopted Spearman's correlation to evaluate any significant relationship between the ARAT, WMFT and MAL, as well as their relationship with the FTHUE-HK. The level of significance was set at p < .05.

Table 1. Demographic data of the study sample (n = 12)

Table 2. Scores of FTHUE-HK, ARAT, and WMFT for individual subjects

Case FTHUE-HK Upper/lower level* ARAT WMFT

1 3 Lower 2 1.27

2 3 Lower 2 1.53

3 3 Lower 3 1.40

4 3 Lower 2 1.60

5 3 Lower 11 3.00

6 4 Lower 40 3.67

7 3 Lower 25 3.33

8 7 Upper 57 5.00

9 7 Upper 49 4.93

10 7 Upper 57 5.00

11 5 Upper 40 3.67

12 7 Upper 56 5.00

*Lower level refers to FTHUE-HK level 4 or below; upper level refers to FTHUE-HK level 5 or above. FTHUE-HK = Functional Test for the Hemiplegic Upper Extremity (Hong Kong version); ARAT = Action Research Arm Test (score, 0-57); WMFT = Wolf Motor Function Test (score, 0-5).

Table 3. Descriptive data of ARAT and WMFT for subjects in upper or lower levels of upper extremity function

Characteristics Mean SD (%)

Gender (n)

Male 8 67

Female 4 33

Hemiparetic side (n)

Left 6 50

Right 6 50

Age (yr) 57.3 6.9

Post-stroke (mo) 69.3 54.7

FTHUE-HK

Level III 6 50

Level IV 1 8.3

Level V 1 8.3

Level VII 4 33.3

SD = standard deviation; FTHUE-HK = Functional Test for the Hemiplegic Upper Extremity (Hong Kong version).

Results

We administered the ARAT, WMFT and MAL to a total of 12 participants; six participants had left hemiparesis and six had right hemiparesis. The demographic data are shown in Table 1.

The FTHUE-HK was used as the gold standard to stratify the 12 participants into two groups, into those with either lower or upper levels of upper extremity function. Participants who were rated below level V on the FTHUE-HK were grouped into the lower level group, while those with levels equal to or above level V were grouped into the upper level group (Table 2). This resulted in seven participants in the lower level group, with a minimum ARAT score of 2 and a maximum of 40; four participants had a score below 5. With regard to the WMFT, the minimum score was 1.27 and maximum score was 3.67. The upper level group had five participants with a minimum ARAT score of 40 and maximum of 57 (i.e. full marks). The minimum score on the WMFT was 3.67 and the maximum was 5 (i.e. full marks), with three of the five participants getting full marks. The AOU and QOM had higher mean values in the higher upper limb function group than in the lower upper limb function group. The MAL did not appear to be subjected to any ceiling or flooring effects in the study.

The mean (standard deviation [SD]) score of the ARAT in the lower level group was 12.2 (14.9), while the comparative mean of the higher level group was 51.8 (7.4) (Table 3). The differences between the two groups were large, and this finding suggested that the participants with lower levels of upper extremity function would have lower scores on the ARAT and vice versa. The mean (SD) score of the WMFT in the lower level group was 2.3 (1.0), and the comparative mean of the

Minimum Maximum Mean SD

Lower level (n = 7)

ARAT 2.0 40.0 12.2 14.9

WMFT 1.3 3.7 2.3 1.0

Upper level (n = 5)

ARAT 40.0 57.0 51.8 7.4

WMFT 3.7 5.0 4.7 0.6

ARAT = Action Research Arm Test; WMFT = Wolf Motor Function Test; SD = standard deviation.

higher level group was 4.7 (0.6) (Table 3). Similar to the finding above, these results suggested that participants with lower levels of upper extremity function would have lower scores on the WMFT and vice versa. Spearman's correlation showed that the FTHUE-HK was highly significantly correlated with the ARAT (p < 0.001) and the WMFT (p < 0.001). The AOU and the QOM of the MAL were significantly correlated with the FTHUE-HK (p = 0.001). In addition, the ARAT and the WMFT were also highly correlated with the levels of FTHUE-HK (p < 0.001; Table 4). Both the AOU and the QOM subscores of the MAL were highly correlated with the ARAT (p < 0.001) and the WMFT (p < 0.001; Table 4).

As summarised in Table 5, both the ARAT and the WMFT are therapist-rated laboratory tests. They have standardised guidelines or manuals to follow during administration. The ARAT manual was published by Yozbatiran et al. in 2008 and can be accessed easily. Compared with the WMFT, the ARAT

has 11 more items, and setup time takes 15-20 minutes or longer. The ARAT takes about 5-15 minutes to administer, while the WMFT takes 20-30 minutes. Although the ARAT has two items more than the WMFT, it takes less time to administer as some items can be skipped.

Discussion

In this study, we found that the ARAT was highly correlated with the FTHUE-HK. This finding suggests that the ARAT reflects the level of the hemiparetic upper extremity as measured by the FTHUE-HK. One possible reason to account for this finding is the ARAT tests functional tasks and, therefore, the ARAT shares similar construct to the FTHUE-HK. However, no previous study has compared these two assessment tools; therefore, the results in this study cannot be compared with other studies. Both the FTHUE-HK and the ARAT have been compared with the FMA, a well-known motor assessment tool for clients with stroke. A previous study has shown that the functional levels of the FTHUE-HK are highly correlated with the upper extremity (r = 0.88) and hand (r = 0.88) subscores of the FMA (Fong et al., 2004). A study of 104 stroke patients showed a high correlation of the ARAT with the FMA both on admission (r=0.77, p < 0.001) and discharge (r = 0.87, p < 0.001) (Rabadi & Rabadi, 2006).

FTHUE-HK — 0.88* 0.91* 0.92* 0.92*

AOU 0.88* - 0.95* 0.91* 0.86*

QOM 0.91* 0.95* - 0.97* 0.92*

ARAT 0.92* 0.91* 0.97* - 0.96*

WMFT 0.92* 0.86* 0.92* 0.96* -

*p < 0.01 (two-tailed). FTHUE-HK = Functional Test for the Hemiplegie Upper Extremity (Hong Kong version); AOU = Amount of Use of the Motor Activity Log (MAL); QOM = Quality of Movement of the MAL; ARAT = Action Research Arm Test (score, 0-57); WMFT = Wolf Motor Function Test (score, 0-5).

Using the ARAT has some advantages. First, the guidelines of the test are very clear, since specific setup details and a standardised approach for administration are available. Secondly, the ARAT saves a lot of time in that it can be completed within 5-15 minutes, since the hierarchical arrangement of the tasks allows certain tasks in the subtest to be skipped when a full score is obtained on the first task (Yozbatiran et al., 2008). The four subtests of ARAT indicate the performance of each upper extremity function (grasping, gripping, pinching, and gross movement) and can, therefore, guide upper extremity treatment planning afterwards. However, the setup time for the test is quite long and can take as long as 20-30 minutes, since it involves many items and pieces of equipment, and every testing material should be in a fixed position on a standardised table. Training may also be necessary to understand the hierarchical testing procedures of ARAT.

In this study, the functional tasks of the WMFT were administered and showed a high correlation (r = 0.92) with the FTHUE-HK. One possible explanation for this finding could be because of the test's construct, which involves movements similar to the components of the other functional tasks within the test. For example, the "extend elbow" item simulates the motor component of the "reach and retrieve" functional item. The strength of the WMFT lies in the small size and portability of the equipment pieces of this assessment tool, making it easy for a therapist to administer in a ward if needed. However, the test's manual is not easy to comprehend, which can lead to an unclear setup and unclear guidelines for administration. In this study, the confusion was such that it was unclear whether the task "turn key in lock" should be performed unilaterally or bilaterally. In addition, because the WMFT is a motor test combining assessment on functional tasks and movements of the upper extremity, demonstrations were needed because it was not easy to visualise a movement like "extend elbow."

In this study, both the ARAT and the WMFT correlated well with each other (r=0.96), and they reflected the functional level of upper extremities as measured by the FTHUE-HK (r = 0.92 and r = 0.92), as well as the AOU (r = 0.91 and 0.86) and QOM (r = 0.97 and 0.92) of the MAL. These results indicate that

Table 4. Spearman correlation matrix between FTHUE-HK, MAL, ARAT, and WMFT

FTHUE-

AOU QOM ARAT WMFT

Table 5. Characteristics of ARAT and WMFT

Measure No. of items No. of equipment Average setup Average completion Mode of Manual/

pieces time (min) time (min) administration guidelines

ARAT 19 22 20-30 5-15 Therapist-rated Easy to access

WMFT 17 10 5-10 20-30 Therapist-rated Difficult to access

MAL 30 Nil N/A 20 Self administered No need for

or interview a manual

ARAT = Action Research Arm Test; WMFT = Wolf Motor Function Test; MAL = Motor Activity Log.

both the ARAT and the WMFT are likely to represent patients' actual hand use in real-life situations. Therefore, we need to consider the issue of which assessment is best in a clinical setting. The results suggest that the ARAT is prone to a high flooring effect, because most participants with a lower upper extremity level scored < 5. Thus, according to the ARAT's results, we could not differentiate the degree of severity between these groups of participants. This can be attributed to the complexity of the tasks, since the four subtests in the ARAT are based on complex upper extremity movements used in daily activities (Rabadi & Rabadi, 2006). On the other hand, the ARAT can help differentiate the severity of upper extremity impairment at the higher level, and even between participants at the same level in the FTHUE-HK. With regard to the WMFT, we found that it was prone to both a high ceiling and low flooring effect. Although it was quite easy for the participants at a higher level of upper extremity function to get full marks, it was useful for differentiating the severity of impairment from participants with lower upper extremity function. Thus, we can conclude that the ARAT is more useful for patients with higher levels of upper extremity function, whereas the WMFT is more useful for patients with lower levels of functionality. With regard to administration procedures and equipment, the WMFT is portable and can be used in a ward for bed-side upper extremity assessment. In contrast, the setup of the ARAT is relatively complex and should be used in a spacious assessment room. If patients have a poor activity tolerance, the ARAT is more suitable because the completion time is shorter.

There was a high correlation of the AOU and QOM of the MAL with the FTHUE-HK in this study, which suggests that use of the affected upper arm is related to its functional level. The AOU and QOM were highly correlated with each other in this study (r = 0.952), which is consistent with previous findings (r=0.92) (Uswatte, Taub, et al., 2006). The strength of the MAL is that it can be used as a quick and generic reference for therapists to understand a client's arm use in daily life. It also gives therapists an idea of how well clients are using their impaired arm in carrying out these tasks, and therefore, can guide subsequent treatment planning. The MAL could also supplement the laboratory-based assessments findings as measured by the ARAT and the WMFT. In this study, all 30 items in the MAL appeared to be relevant to the recruited Chinese participants suffering from stroke.

Cognitive abilities are required of clients during administration of the MAL. Clients with aphasia might find it difficult to complete the MAL during the interview. In these circumstances, a caregiver's scores are important (Uswatte et al., 2005), since respondents may over- or underestimate their performance on this subjective measure. This problem may be solved by

asking the caregivers to rate the MAL, especially the AOU. However, this approach relies on the caregivers' knowledge of the clients' performance on all 30 ADLs, which may not always be possible. In addition, the QOM scale also demands a care-giver's sharp observation. It is also a good idea to use a videotape to show the respondents the meaning of each performance level on the MAL, since this can help maintain a common frame of reference for scoring (Uswatte & Taub, 2005).

We found that the average completion time for the MAL was approximately 20 minutes, and it did not require an extensive setup of equipment. Although the MAL covered the 30 items in the questionnaire, it was unable to cover any functional tasks specific to the participants' individual needs during the daytime. The MAL's mode of administration depended on the participants' ability to understand the meaning of the two rating scales (AOU and QOM).

It should be noted that the sample of this study was drawn from a convenience sample of participants with chronic stroke, recruited from a community centre in Hong Kong. Thus, there is a limitation on how representative the sample is, and therefore, the generalisability of the findings. The effect of other comor-bidities, such as muscle tone and strength, were also not taken into account, thus affecting generalisation of the results. In the future, replication of this study with a larger sample size would increase the power of the study, and thus possibly reveal more significant findings.

In summary, although this study found a high correlation between the ARAT and WMFT, neither was superior to the other. Although the ARAT has a high flooring effect, it is useful for differentiating the hand functions of patients with a higher level of upper extremity function. However, the score range of the WMFT is relatively large and suitable for identifying both higher and lower level patients. For the implications of the ARAT and WMFT in clinical practice, therapists should consider both the motor level of the patient and the clinical setting and then choose a suitable measurement for upper extremity assessment. Otherwise, the WMFT can be administered first. If high marks are obtained using the WMFT, the ARAT can then be used to identify problems in certain areas of upper extremity function, such as grasping, gripping or pinching, in order to guide treatment. To understand clients' actual hand use in real-life, the MAL is highly recommended as an outcome measure across clients, and the results can guide treatment planning.

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Appendix. Test Items of the Motor Activity Log (MAL) (Chinese Prototype)

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