Exploring hand dexterity in children with myelomeningocele

Shoshana Steinhart, Emmanuel Kornitzer, Patrice L. Weiss, Michal Katz-Leurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To assess hand dexterity in children with myelomeningocele (MMC) and to explore factors related to hand dexterity in these children. METHODS: Ninety-four children with myelomeningocele, aged 4 to 18 years, were assessed. Demographic characteristics, disease factors, visual perception (Beery test of Visual Motor Integration), cognition (WeeFunctional Independence Measure), and self-care (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory) were assessed in relation to the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9HPT) for hand dexterity using Spearmen correlations and linear regressions. RESULTS: The children's performance on the 9HPT in both hands was significantly slower than the norms for their age groups. Children without a shunt showed significantly better function in both hands (p=.005) than those with a shunt. Factors most related to hand dexterity were neurological spinal level of MMC, presence of shunt, age, cognitive ability, and years of mother's education. CONCLUSION: Children with MMC appear to have poorer hand skills than typically developed children, which was related to pathology as well as functional and environmental factors. When addressing hand dexterity in children with MMC, it is important that rehabilitation professionals continue to work with these children as they get older, and put greater emphasis on parent education using materials that are adapted to varying educational levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-619
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021-IOS Press. All rights reserved.


  • Cognition
  • Fine motor dexterity
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Myelomeningocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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