2019 Volume 38 Issue 1 Pages 18-27
The purpose of this study was to capture the features of writing skill in the non-dominant hand of the elderly, and to help the switching hand dominance training of stroke-related hemiplegic patients. Thirty-eight elderly (age:74.2 ± 5.5) and 15 youths (age:20.5 ± 0.9) participated in the study. Their task was to trace over the outline of 8 types of symbols presented over a tablet screen. The successive tracings of the 8 types of symbols were counted as 1 session, which was consecutively repeated 10 times. Acquired data were pen pressure during performance (pen pressure), and the force exerted by the fingers against the pen during writing (grip force). Results indicate no significant within-group differences in either group. Regarding comparisons between the groups, pen pressure was lower in the elderly than the youth in the first half of the drawing analysis, but the grip force was higher in elderly than in the youth group. Therefore, as motor and sensory function decline during aging, leading to a tendency among the elderly to grip the pen more forcefully, occupational therapists need to consider appropriate interventions.