Real-World Functional Grasping Activity in Individuals With Stroke and Healthy Controls Using a Novel Wearable Wrist Sensor

Chieh Ling Yang, Johnson Liu, Lisa A. Simpson, Carlo Menon, Janice J. Eng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. While wrist-worn accelerometers have been used to measure upper extremity use in the past, they primarily measure arm motion and lack the ability to capture functional hand opening and grasping activities which are essential for activities of daily living. Objectives. To characterize real-world functional hand opening and grasping activities captured over multiple days in adults with stroke and in matched controls using a novel wrist-worn device. Methods. Twenty-eight individuals (fourteen individuals with stroke and 14 healthy controls) wore the devices on both wrists for 3 days. Functional hand activity was characterized by daily hand counts, hourly hand counts, and asymmetry between hands. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to evaluate differences in functional hand activities between the two groups. Results. The stroke group had 1480 and 4691 daily hand counts in their affected and nonaffected hands, respectively. The control group had 3559 and 5021 daily hand counts in their nondominant and dominant hands, respectively. Significantly fewer daily hand counts (P =.019), fewer hourly hand counts (P =.024), and a larger asymmetry index (P =.01) of the affected hand in the stroke group were found compared to that of the nondominant hand in the control group. Conclusions. Real-world functional upper extremity activity can be measured using this novel wrist-worn device. Unlike wrist-worn accelerometers, this wrist-worn device can provide a measurement of functional grasping activity. The findings have implications for clinicians and researchers to monitor and assess real-world hand activity, as well as to apply specific doses of repetitions to improve neural recovery after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-937
Number of pages9
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number10
StatePublished - 10 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • grasp
  • real-world activity
  • stroke
  • upper extremity
  • wearable sensor


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