Objectives. Occupational therapists frequently work to improve the fine motor coordination skills of adults who have dexterity deficits secondary to brain injury. Most therapists use a combination tabletop and functional activities to foster improved coordination in these clients. This study examined the effects of puzzle construction and kitchen activities on fine motor coordination in a group of 45 men with brain injury, as measured by pretest and posttest performance on two subtests of the Jebsen-Taylor Test of Hand Function.

Method. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a parquetry block assembly group (n = 22) or a meal preparation group(n = 23).

Results. Subjects in the functional meal preparation group showed significantly greater improvement in dominant-hand dexterity for picking up small objects than subjects in the tabletop puzzle activity group. Other coordination test results were comparable for the two treatment groups.

Conclusion. These findings suggest that functional activities may be better than tabletop activities for fine motor coordination training with this population.

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