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|Title:||Handwriting in healthy people aged 65 years and over|
|Authors:||van Drempt, Nadege Andree|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
|Abstract:||Background: Handwriting is an important activity which is commonly affected after a stroke. Handwriting research has predominantly involved children. In adults, the focus of handwriting research has been identifying forgery, doctors’ handwriting legibility and the kinematics of writing strokes. There are no known studies which provide information on unimpaired adult handwriting in real situations to guide stroke rehabilitation therapists. Aim: This study aims to describe the handwriting practices of 30 unimpaired adults aged 65 years and over to inform adult handwriting rehabilitation. Methods: This study used a cross-sectional observational design. Three data collection methods were used: self-report questionnaire, handwriting samples collected using a digital pen and a handwriting log. Following ethical approval, 30 older adults were recruited using snowball sampling. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Results: The median age of participants was 72 years. Three-quarters of participants scored less than 4 for legibility on a 4-point scale. A tripod pen grip was used by 97% of the sample. Variations in handwriting were evident in letter size, slant and spacing. Participants wrote very little, an average of three times per day (SD = 1.5) and a median of 18 words per occasion. Most handwriting (85%) involved self-generated, not copied or transcribed text. Participants stood whilst writing for 17% of handwriting occasions. The most common reasons for handwriting were taking notes (23%) and completing puzzles (22%). Discussion: Legibility in older adults may not depend exclusively on the handwriting script that a beginning writer was taught at school, but may be due to other factors, as a person ages. A comprehensive adult handwriting assessment and retraining program should consist of relevant handwriting activities, involve self-generated text and few words. Conclusion: Findings will contribute to the ongoing development of an ecologically valid adult handwriting assessment and help inform stroke rehabilitation practice.|
|Description:||Master of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis.|
|Type of Work:||Masters Thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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