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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Apr;14(2):458-63. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12106. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Size variability of handwriting in healthy Korean older adults.

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  • 1Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Audiology and Speech Pathology Research Institute, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.



The aim of the present study was to delineate how age-related deterioration affects the handwriting of healthy elderly (HE) subjects.


A total of 235 HE (54 males, 181 females) aged 57-91 years participated as subjects in the study. In order to compare the area of handwriting, we divided the participants into two groups: (i) aged 57-74 years; and (ii) aged 75-91 years. The writing stimulus was a four-syllabic word with one-to-one grapheme-to-phoneme correspondence. The size of each syllable in the target word was measured using a software program. Alignment of the word to baseline was assessed using a multiple-choice checklist.


As compared with handwriting by the younger group, the older group showed greater variability in the size of the written syllables within the word (P = 0.023).


The handwriting was characterized by unequal size among syllables and non-perpendicular alignment, which could be explained by several factors. First, the variability might have resulted from irregular fine movement motor control in older adults. Second, the deterioration of visual feedback and visuomotor integration in normal aging might have affected handwriting performance. In conclusion, variability of handwriting can be sensitive in predicting the aging process.

© 2013 Japan Geriatrics Society.


aging; elderly; handwriting; visuomotor integration

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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