Moberg Pick-Up Test

Original Editor - Agoro Bukola Zainab

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Objective[edit | edit source]

Moberg pickup test (MPUT) is a standardized test to assess for hand dexterity and functional sensibility. It is a timed test first used in neuro-rehabilitation to evaluate hand motor activity. It is simple and quick to administer, easy to replicate and inexpensive to acquire.[1]

Intended Population[edit | edit source]

Moberg Pickup test is used to evaluate functional performance in patients with hand pathologies that include:

Method of Use[edit | edit source]

Equipments Required:

  • 60 x 30 cm Plastic desk-blotter
  • 3 x 8 x 5 cm Plastic box
  • 12 Small metallic objects
    • 5 cm fine screw
    • 2.3 cm wide screw
    • 3.3 and 2.8 cm paper clips
    • 1.4 cm diameter ring
    • 3.8 cm safety pin
    • Two (2) small nuts
    • One (1) wing nut
    • 2.8 cm and 2.2 cm diameter coins
    • 5.5 cm key
  • Stopwatch


The MPUT is done in two phases; 1) with eyes open, and 2) with eyes closed. For each phase of the test, the dominant hand is tested first.

The test uses a plastic desk-blotter, a plastic box, 12 small metallic objects (screws, paper clips, diameter ring, safety pin, small nuts, coins and key) and a stopwatch. The desk-blotter is placed lengthwise on a table. Individuals are seated in a chair facing it, their self-reported dominant hand resting on the table beside the desk-blotter. Ambidextrous individuals are asked to pick a small object on the table; the spontaneously chosen hand is considered as dominant. The box is placed on the desk-blotter and the 12 objects are dispersed randomly close to the box on the side of the dominant hand. Individuals are instructed to pick up each object one-by-one and place them in the box as quickly as possible, without sliding them. Time is recorded from the start order until the last object is dropped off.[1]



Table 1. Normative values for Moberg Pick-Up Test[6]

Young (20 – 39 years) Middle-aged (40 – 59 years) Old (60+ years)
Female Male Female Male Female Male
Eyes open
Dominant hand 12.0 12.3 12.6 16.5 16 16.8
Nondominant hand 12.5 14.0 13.3 18.0 18.0 15.4
Eyes closed
Dominant hand 23.8 22.5 23.0 27.8 27.8 29.9
Nondominant hand 23.6 21.6 24.1 31.5 31.5 31.23

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Several studies have shown MPUT to be a good test in evaluating the functional performance of upper limbs in rheumatology, patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and in absence of upper limb pathology.[3][4][7] Moberg pickup test is reported to have a good to excellent test-retest and inter-rater reliability with a coefficient alpha for test-retest reliability of 0.985.[2][7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Santos-Eggimann B, Ballan K, Fustinoni S, Büla C. Measuring Slowness in Old Age: Times to Perform Moberg Picking-Up and Walking Speed Tests. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2020 May 11
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amirjani N, Ashworth NL, Olson JL, Morhart M, Ming Chan K. Discriminative validity and test–retest reliability of the Dellon‐modified Moberg pick‐up test in carpal tunnel syndrome patients. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System. 2011 Mar;16(1):51-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Silva PG, Jones A, Fernandes AD, Natour J. Moberg Picking-Up Test in patients with hand osteoarthritis. Journal of Hand Therapy. 2017 Oct 1;30(4):522-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Stamm TA, Ploner A, Machold KP, Smolen J. Moberg picking‐up test in patients with inflammatory joint diseases: A survey of suitability in comparison with button test and measures of disease activity. Arthritis Care & Research: Official Journal of the American College of Rheumatology. 2003 Oct 15;49(5):626-32.
  5. Moberg Pickup Test. Available from: [last accessed 22/10/2020]
  6. Amirjani N, Ashworth NL, Gordon T, Edwards DC, Chan KM. Normative values and the effects of age, gender, and handedness on the Moberg Pick‐Up Test. Muscle & Nerve: Official Journal of the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. 2007 Jun;35(6):788-92.
  7. 7.0 7.1 D'souza SA, Kishan V. Moberg Pick-Up Test (Indian version): Test-retest Reliablity and Normative Values for Indian Adults of 30 to 60 years. Indian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2010 Sep 1;42(3).