WorkAbility Rate of Manipulation Test (WRMT) is brief test of hand dexterity that has a compact mini-board design and brief protocols for turning and placing tests that only take 3 minutes for 3 trials. Performance during turning or placing sub-tests is timed separately for the right and left hands to objectively assess for performance differences. WRMT contains two mini-boards and 20 cylinders.
This product was designed by Rick Wickstrom, PT, DPT, CPE to make it more versatile, and acceptable to people with physical and cognitive disabilities. WRMT delivers several practical advantages for clinicians – simplified protocols, faster assessments, and flexibility to assess hand dexterity in a variety of work postures.
This test is a 4th generation modification of the original Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Test (MRMT) that is no longer manufactured. The original MRMT was introduced in the 1930s and became a gold standard for assessing hand dexterity. The MRMT was used to validate the hand impairment method for the American Medical Association’s Guide to Ratings of Permanent Impairment. 1,2
In 1991, Lafayette Instrument Company introduced a 2nd generation adaptation of the MRMT called the Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test (MMDT) that used identical protocols with a folding board and cylinders that have different dimensions than the original version. Desrosiers et. al. compared the MRMT and MMDT in a study of 47 healthy elderly people and concluded that the tests were highly correlated despite different results.3 Hilgenkamp et al. reviewed physical fitness assessments of older people and reported that the complexity of MMDT instructions may limit its utility in older persons with lower cognition.4
To address the concerns reported by Hilgenkamp, WorkAbility Systems introduced a 3rd generation adaptation of the MRMT called the WorkAbility Rate of Manipulation Test (WRMT) to simplify its methods and improve the board design. Wang et. al. compared WRMT with MMDT to report utility, reliability, and validity for its 20-cylinder protocol.5 A 4th generation adaptation was introduced in 2019 make the compact version more versatile to assess work tolerance in a variety of postures.
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- Gloss DS, Wardle MG. Use of the Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Test for disability evaluation. Percept Mot Skills. 1982;55(2):527-532. doi:10.2466/pms.19188.8.131.527
- Gloss DS, Wardle MG. Reliability and Validity of American Medical Association’s Guide to Ratings of Permanent Impairment. JAMA. 1982;248(18):2292-2296. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330180052032
- Desrosiers J, Rochette A, Hebert R, Bravo G. The Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test: reliability, validity and reference values studies with healthy elderly people. Can J Occup Ther. 1997;64(5):270-.
- Hilgenkamp TIM, van Wijck R, Evenhuis HM. Physical fitness in older people with ID—Concept and measuring instruments: A review. Res Dev Disabil. 2010;31(5):1027-1038. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2010.04.012
- Wang Y-C, Wickstrom R, Yen S-C, Kapellusch J, Grogan KA. Assessing manual dexterity: Comparing the WorkAbility Rate of Manipulation Test with the Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test. J Hand Ther. 2018;31(3):339-347. doi:10.1016/j.jht.2017.03.009