A Validated Hand Grading Scale


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alastair Carruthers, MD, Suite 820-943 West Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 4E1, or e-mail: alastair@carruthers.net


BACKGROUND Following the popularity of facial cosmetic procedures to reverse the signs of aging, cosmetic procedures that rejuvenate the hand are being sought. Irregular surface pigmentation, prominence of superficial veins and tendons, thinning of the dermis, and loss of subcutaneous fat typically characterize aging of the hand.

OBJECTIVES To develop the Hand Grading Scale for objective quantification of the severity of hand aging and to establish the reliability of this photonumeric scale for clinical research and practice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS The Hand Grading Scale is a 5-point photonumeric rating scale that was developed to objectively quantify the severity of aging of the hand. Nine experts rated photographs of 35 subjects, twice, with regard to the aspect “hand aging” in comparison with morphed images. Inter- and intrarater variability was assessed by computing intraclass correlation coefficients.

RESULTS The agreement between the experts was considerably high. Bubble plots (bivariate scatter plots) demonstrated linearity in judgment by the experts.

CONCLUSION The 5-point photonumeric scale generated spans the severity of hand aging for which patients most commonly seek correction. The scale is well stratified for consistent rating.