Jebsen Hand Function Test (JHFT)

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Tool Description

  • Developed to provide a standardized and objective evaluation of fine and gross motor hand function using simulated activities of daily living.
  • Items to be performed on both the dominant and non-dominant hand.

ICF Domain:

Activity – Subcategory: Mobility.

Number of Items:


Brief Instructions for Administration & Scoring


  • Clinician-administered; performance-based measure
  • Weighted and non-weighted hand function is assessed through: writing; turning over 3 by 5 inch cards; picking up small common objects; simulated feeding; stacking checkers; picking up large objects; and picking up large heavy objects. Time to complete each task is recorded.
  • Patients are required to perform all of the subtests with both the right and left hands, with the non-dominant hand tested first.
  • Administration of this test takes approximately 45 minutes.

Equipment: (see Jebsen 1969 for details)

  • Stopwatch, chair (18” seat height), desk/table (30” high), four sheets of unruled white paper, clipboard, sentences typed in all capital letters and centered on a 5x8” index card on a bookstand, 5 index cards (ruled on one side only), empty 1 pound coffee can, 2 paper clips, 2 regular sized bottle caps, 2 U.S. pennies, 5 kidney beans (~5/8” long), 1 regular teaspoon, wooden board (41 ½” long, 11 ¼” wide, ¾” thick), “C” clamp, plywood (20” long, 2” wide, ½” thick) glued to the board, 4 standard size (1 ¼” diameter) red wooden checkers, 5 No. 303 cans.


  • Record the time necessary to complete each subtest (rounded the nearest second).


MCID: not established in SCI
SEM: not established in SCI
MDC: not established in SCI

  • Test results appear easy to interpret.
  • Norms for general population according to age, sex and hand (dominant or non-dominant) are available with the instruction manual.
  • Slow times reflect a less desirable performance.
  • No normative or published data has been reported for the SCI population.


English and Portuguese.

Training Required:

Training is not required.


See the ‘How-to use’ page of this tool.

Clinical Considerations

  • The JHFT only assesses the speed and not the quality of performance
  • The JHFT represents one of the oldest standardized tests of hand function and used individuals with SCI during its initial development.

Measurement Property Summary

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 2


  • Test-retest reliability for the items ranged from Moderate to High (ranged from r=0.60-0.99 (Pearson’s product-moment correlation)).

[Jebsen et al. 1969]


  • Correlation of the Jebsen Hand Function test is High with the overall Klein-Bell Scale score (Spearman’s r=-0.635) and Klein-Bell Scale–dressing subscale (Spearman’s r=-0.69), and Moderate with Klein-Bell Scale-bathing/hygiene subscale (-0.57) and Klein-Bell Scale-Eating subscale (-0.45).

[Lynch & Bridle 1989]

No values have been reported for the responsiveness of the Jebsen Hand Function Test for the SCI population at this time.

Floor/ceiling effect:

No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the Jebsen Hand Function Test for the SCI population at this time.


Dr. Janice Eng, Marzena Zhou

Date Last Updated:

Mar 23, 2017

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Download Worksheet:

Worksheet Document





Equipment Needed

  • Stopwatch
  • Chair (18” seat height)
  • Desk/table (30” high)
  • 4 sheets of unruled white paper
  • Clipboard
  • Sentences typed in all capital letters and centered on a 5x8” index card on a bookstand
  • 5 index cards (ruled on one side only)
  • Empty 1 pound coffee can
  • 2 paper clips
  • 2 regular sized bottle caps
  • 2 U.S. pennies
  • 5 kidney beans (~5/8” long)
  • 1 regular teaspoon
  • Wooden board (41 ½” long, 11 ¼” wide, ¾” thick)
  • “C” clamp
  • Plywood (20” long, 2” wide, ½” thick) glued to the board
  • 4 standard size (1 ¼” diameter) red wooden checkers
  • 5 No. 303 cans


Bovend Eerdt TJH, Dawes H, Johansen-Berg H, Wade DT. Evaluation of the Modified Jebsen Test of Hand Function and the University of Maryland Arm Questionnaire for Stroke. Clinical Rehabilitation 2004; 18: 195-202.

Jebsen RH, Taylor N, Trieschmann RB, Trotter MH, Howard LA. An objective and standardized test of hand function. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1969;50:311-19.

Lynch KB, Bridle MJ. Validity of the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test in Predicting Activities of Daily Living. The Occupational Therapy Journal of Research 1989; Volume 9, Number 5: 316-18.

Spaulding SJ, McPherson HH, Strachota E, Kuphal M, Ramponi M. Jebsen Hand Function Test: Performance of the Uninvolved Hand in Hemiplegia and of Right-handed, Right and Left Hemiplegic Persons. Arch Phys Rehabil 1988;69:419-22.

Stern EB. Stability of the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test Across Three Test Sessions. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 1992;46:647-49.