Dexterity, visual perception, and activities of daily living in persons with multiple sclerosis.
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ABSTRACT The purposes of this study were to compare dexterity, visual perception, and abilities to carry out activities of daily living (ADL) in persons with different multiple sclerosis (MS) subtypes and to determine what relationships exist between the three variables. Fifty-six persons with MS were administered tests of dexterity, visual perception, and ADL ability. Demographic variables and scores on Kurtzke's Expanded Disability Status Scale were also collected. Scores from the chronic-progressive group were significantly higher than those of the benign and progressive-relapsing groups for the Nine-Hole Peg Test-Left Hand, Grooved Peg Test, and Functional Status Index (except Functional Status Index-Pain). There were no differences between the MS groups for any demographic variables except on the Expanded Disability Status Scale. Visual perception did not correlate with dexterity or ADL ability, and only dexterity scores for the left hand correlated with ADL ability. Persons with the severer subtype of MS were significantly impaired compared with the least severe group for dexterity and ADL ability. Decreased dexterity was associated with needing more assistance and having more perceived difficulty with ADL.