Moberg picking-up test in patients with inflammatory joint diseases: A survey of suitability in comparison with button test and measures of disease activity




To assess and compare the suitability of Moberg pickup test (MPUT) and button test (BT) as indicators for functional impairment in patients with inflammatory joint diseases.


Measurements for 369 patients attending a rheumatology outpatient clinic were collected. In addition to MPUT and BT, measurements collected were grip strength, tender and swollen joint counts, visual analog scales for pain and disease activity, Health Assessment Questionnaire, C-reactive protein levels, and erythrocyte sedimentation rates.


We found a significant relationship between MPUT and BT. Both tests show the same pattern of correlations with the other parameters, although all correlations are higher for MPUT. There is a significant sex and learning effect for the BT, which implies a confounding of hand function and motor abilities. A significantly higher proportion of patients was unable to complete BT.


MPUT and BT measure comparable aspects of hand function. In several theoretical and practical aspects, MPUT seems superior to BT in arthritis. It is necessary to evaluate its value in long-term followup.