Hand malformations: Development of an appearance score

Zurich Appearance Score for Hands


Principal investigators: PD Dr. phil. Helene Werner, Prof. Dr. med. Daniel Weber

Duration of project: 2018-2020


Many surgical procedures for hand malformations aim to improve the appearance of the hand. Although this is often a key indication for surgery, many outcome studies focus on evaluating function and complication rates. This may be related to the fact that instruments for assessing hand appearance are scarce. Existing tools help in appraising appearance, but have disadvantages such as global questions about appearance or questions about the well-being due to the impairment. Validated appearance-based tools, such as the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire, do not allow a mere measurement of appearance and do not apply to all patients and age groups. To the best of our knowledge, no validated instrument has been published in English, German or French literature that assesses multiple aspects of the appearance of hands.

The aim of this project is to develop a questionnaire-based instrument which can measure the appearance of hand malformations in the most reliable and valid way. The questionnaire will be tested on 400 healthy adolescents and adults. The aim is to analyze this data in a cross-section design.

Contact: helene.werner@kispi.uzh.ch