Sharp/Dull

Position of client during the assessment

  • Seated with feet flat on the floor
  • Arms rested on the table
  • Therapist seated across from client

Touch in random positions all over the arms and hands
**Alternating between sharp and dull randomly**

Items Needed

  • Paperclip- (pull side out for sharp, use rounded end for dull)
    or
  • Cotton swab- (broken in two to use cotton side as dull and broken end as sharp)
    or
  • Tooth Pick
  • Sensory Shield

Assessment Sequences

1. Explain test purpose and procedures
– “Sometimes when a person has an injury such as yours the way they feel things is affected. I would like to test how you are feeling sharp and dull by touching you on your arms and hands.”

2. Explain stimulus and expected response
-”I am going to be using this ‘paperclip’, please tell me if it feels sharp or dull.”

3. OT demonstrates test on self
-”I am going to touch you like this.”- while demonstrating on self

4. Demonstrate on client’s less involved side with visual input
-”I am going to touch you like this. This is sharp and this is dull.”

5. Test the less involved side with vision occluded
– “Now I am going to do the same thing without you being able to see when I touch you. Please tell me if you feel the sharp or dull.”

6. Test the more involved side with vision occluded
– “Now I am going to do the same thing on the other side. Please tell me if you feel sharp or dull.”

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