Dexterity Test

Perform a hand function assessment with our comprehensive guide on Dexterity Tests. Free PDF template included. Elevate your patient care today.

By RJ Gumban on Jun 03, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is a Dexterity Test?

If you're a healthcare professional working with individuals who require assessment or rehabilitation of hand and finger function, you've likely come across the term "dexterity test." But what exactly is a dexterity test?

In the simplest terms, a is a tool healthcare practitioners use to assess and measure a person's fine motor skills. These skills often involve the precise movement of hands and fingers in eye coordination. They are crucial for various tasks, from buttoning a shirt and typing on a keyboard to manipulating small objects and performing delicate surgical procedures.

A dexterity test can tell you much about a patient's hand-eye coordination, hand dominance, tactile discrimination, and hand functioning under different conditions, such as speed or pressure. It's not only relevant for those undergoing rehabilitation from injuries or surgeries. Still, it is also vital in fields like occupational therapy, where it helps identify individuals' suitability for specific jobs, or in neurology, where it aids in diagnosing and monitoring conditions affecting motor control.

Dexterity tests come in various forms and may be as simple as timed tests involving picking up and manipulating small objects or more complex ones that measure the proficiency of both gross and fine motor skills. They play a crucial role in developing effective treatment plans, setting realistic rehabilitation goals, and tracking patient progress.

Now that you have a basic understanding of a dexterity test, let's dive deeper into how it works, its benefits, and how to use it to enhance patient care and outcomes.

Printable Dexterity Test

Download this Dexterity Test to assess and measure a person's fine motor skills

How Does This Dexterity Test Work?

A dexterity test involves steps designed to assess a patient's hand and finger movements and coordination. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to administer the dexterity test to your patients:

Step 1: Prepare the Testing Area

  • Ensure you have a quiet, comfortable space free of distractions.
  • Arrange the table and chair at a comfortable height for the patient.
  • Position the testing equipment within easy reach of the patient.

Step 2: Explain the Procedure to the Patient

  • Inform the patient about the purpose of the test.
  • Describe each test in detail, explaining what the patient is required to do.
  • Ensure the patient understands the instructions before starting the test.

Step 3: Conduct the Tests

  • Start with the Purdue Pegboard Test. Set the timer and instruct the patient to begin.
  • Follow the same procedure for the Nine Hole Peg Test, Box and Block Test, and Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test.
  • Observe the patient's hand movements, speed, and coordination during the tests.

Step 4: Scoring and Interpretation

  • For each test, note any difficulties the patient has and the time to complete the test.
  • Score the patient's performance based on these observations, with '0' indicating no difficulty and '1' indicating some problem.
  • Compare the patient's scores with normative data to determine whether their performance falls within the expected range.

Step 5: Discuss the Results with the Patient

  • Once all tests are complete, review the results with the patient.
  • Discuss their difficulties during the tests and what this could mean for their dexterity.
  • Consider referring the patient for further evaluation or therapy if necessary.

This systematic approach to the dexterity test allows healthcare professionals to accurately assess a patient's hand and finger skills, speed, and coordination. By following these steps, you can effectively administer the test, ensuring that you gather comprehensive and accurate data to guide further therapeutic interventions.


Scoring in dexterity tests, often referred to as "Dexterity Scoring," involves measuring the patient's performance on each trial. In most cases, this involves timing the patient and counting the number of successful tasks they complete within a specific timeframe.

For example, in the Purdue Pegboard Test, the score is typically the number of pegs the patient can insert in 30 seconds. In the Box and Block Test, the score is the number of blocks the patient can transport from one box to another in one minute.

It's crucial to compare the scores with standardized norms for each test, considering age and hand dominance factors. These scores can then quantitatively measure a patient's manual dexterity.

Dexterity Test Example (Sample)

A finished sample of a dexterity test can be beneficial for healthcare professionals. It provides a clear, concrete example of what the completed assessment should look like, from the patient's information section to the final scores. This can be particularly useful when learning how to administer and score the test and understanding how to interpret the results.

A finished sample can also provide a benchmark to compare against when assessing future patients. By looking at a completed assessment, healthcare professionals can gain insights into the potential challenges they may face when administering the test and how best to overcome them.

Download this Dexterity Test Example (Sample) here:

Dexterity Test Example (Sample)

When To Use These Dexterity Assessments?

Dexterity assessments are vital tools that can be used under various circumstances.

  • In Rehabilitation: Dexterity tests are commonly used in rehabilitation settings, such as post-stroke or post-surgery recovery. They provide valuable information about the patient's progress and the therapeutic intervention's effectiveness.
  • Diagnosis and Prognosis: These assessments can aid in diagnosing conditions affecting hand and finger function. They can also help predict the course of these conditions, allowing for more effective management and treatment planning.
  • Occupational Health: Dexterity tests can assess whether an individual has the necessary manual skills for specific jobs or tasks in occupational health settings.
  • In Geriatrics: As age can affect manual dexterity, these tests can be utilized to assess the functioning of elderly patients. This can help in planning appropriate care and intervention strategies.

Dexterity tests are versatile tools for various clinical and occupational situations. Their usage largely depends on the patient's needs or the situation's demands.

Benefits of These Free Dexterity Test Templates

Efficiency and Consistency

The templates standardize the assessment process, ensuring consistency and reducing potential errors in test administration.

Comprehensive Evaluation

The different tests in the template allow for a comprehensive evaluation of the patient's dexterity, assessing various aspects of hand and finger function.


A ready-to-use template saves valuable time, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care and less on paperwork.

Professional Presentation

These templates present information professionally, enhancing communication with patients and other healthcare providers.

Easy Tracking of Progress

The templates make it easier to track a patient's progress over time, providing a clear record of changes in their dexterity.


Being a free resource, these templates are easily accessible to all healthcare professionals, regardless of their institution or practice setting.

Why Use This Dexterity App?

Carepatron is a leading platform for healthcare professionals, providing a range of features designed to streamline your practice. Our Dexterity app is no exception. It is intuitive and user-friendly, designed with the busy healthcare professional in mind. This means less time grappling with software and more time focused on your patients.

The Dexterity app on Carepatron provides a seamless interface for administering, scoring, and interpreting dexterity tests. The built-in templates help maintain consistency in testing, making the assessment process more efficient. Plus, the app allows you to store and track your patient's progress over time, providing valuable insights into their recovery or treatment plan.

Discover the benefits of using Carepatron for your dexterity testing needs. Try our Dexterity app now and experience the difference in your practice. Get started with Carepatron today.

Physical Therapy Software
Can dexterity tests diagnose specific conditions?
Can dexterity tests diagnose specific conditions?

Commonly asked questions

Can dexterity tests diagnose specific conditions?

While dexterity tests can indicate problems with hand and finger function, they are not diagnostic tools. They can, however, provide valuable information that contributes to a broader diagnostic process.

How often should a dexterity test be administered?

The testing frequency largely depends on the patient's condition and the test's purpose. For example, testing might occur more frequently in rehabilitation to track progress.

Can patients practice dexterity tests at home?

While some components of dexterity tests can be practiced at home, it's important to remember that a healthcare professional should administer them to ensure accuracy and safety.

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