The handgrip strength (HGS) test might be an important correlate of health in breast cancer survivors, and could be recommended as an adjuvant method of evaluation, which may help with efficiency of clinical practice, say authors of an article published online ahead of print in American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
In this cross-sectional study of 95 breast cancer survivors, researchers assessed outcomes for HGS; heart rate variability; pressure pain threshold of the neck, shoulder, hand, and tibia of the affected side; and fitness level (6-minute walk test, neck-shoulder mobility, vertical jump, sit-to-stand test, and trunk curl test). Participants completed the Fatigue Piper Scale and Profile of Mood States questionnaires and the neck-shoulder visual analog scale. Correlation was conducted to examine the relationship of HGS with pain, fitness, fatigue, and mood.
The authors observed a fair relationship of HGS with shoulder pain and a moderate to fair relationship with fitness (rho range, 0.24-0.56). The relationship between HGS and heart rate variability (high-frequency domain) was weak (rho=0.23). Likewise, the relationship between HGS and Profile of Mood States subscales ranged from weak to fair (rho range, -0.22 to -0.36). HGS showed a weak relationship with Fatigue Piper Scale (rho range, -0.28 to -0.35). Passive shoulder flexion, fatigue, and vertical jump were independent and significant predictors of HGS (R2 = 0.466).