We need a new way to measure upper limb function in MS: can you help us?

As you may know, we at Barts-MS are passionate about the importance of upper limb function for people with MS. And our #ThinkHand campaign aims to increase awareness.

Part of this project is to develop a new way for people to record and measure their upper limb function. We currently work with Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), such as the ABILHAND, which is a questionnaire that patients are asked to complete at clinical visits.  Read more about that in a previous blog post.

We are now running the Measurement on Our Terms study. This consists of three focus groups with people with MS, which will contribute to the development of a new resource to measure upper limb function. We want to create something that’s more useful and meaningful; to record how hand and arm function is affected by MS, and what this means in real life, for real people. 

For this, we need your help!

We are looking for as many people as possible to tell us what everyday arm and hand activities are affected by their MS. This could be in any sort of activity, from getting up and dressed, cooking and eating, to more specialist hobbies, or activities conducted as part of your profession. It is all relevant and we need to know about this in as much detail as possible.

If you have 5 minutes please complete the survey below and help contribute to our project.  We also need to know your EDSS score (which you can find out via the webEDSS) and the result of the 9 hole peg test (leave your details in the survey and we will post you one for free). You can complete the survey without completing the 9 hole peg test, but we do need this information too, so please leave your details if you possibly can.

For more information on this research, please read the participant information. And leave any questions in the comments

About the author

Alison Thomson


  • Is this for everyone? It's my legs that are the problem and apart from parasthesia in my hands I think upper limb function is reasonable. So is it just for people with definite upper limb problems? Don't know what my 9HPT is though, maybe there is a problem.

  • The 9 hole peg test (9HPT) can be used as a baseline for establishing hand function. It can be used down the track to assess for change in condition. Lower limb function usually goes first, if you become wheelchair dependant as I have ambulatory tests no longer apply. I plan to use the 9HPT to monitor my situation.

  • I am a physiotherapist who was told about your study and cardboard 9 hole peg test by a colleague who attended the ms conference. He showed the cardboard peg test however could not recall where we could others so that we can use with our patients and take part in your study. Can you let me know where I may be able to get one?

By Alison Thomson



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