This study provided age and reference values for Finger Tip Unit Metric Length (FTUML) for children and adolescents, assessed relationship between FTUML and selected anthropometric parameters (height, weight, BMI and body somatotype); and determined socio-demographic (age and sex) and anthropometric predictors of FTUML with the end view of providing objective FTUML reference values for quantifying dosages of topical medications. It will also contribute to the emerging literature on objective dosage prescription for topical medications.
Sample of convenience sampling technique was used to recruit 440 children and adolescents who were participants in this correlation study. Their ages were classified into three categories, 1 – 6, 7 - 12 and 13 – 17 years with 140 participants in each. Standard bathroom weighing scale, 10cm plastic meter ruler, tape rule and height meter were used to measure weight, FTUML, girth, and height respectively while Body Mass Index (BMI) and somatotype were computed. The FTUML was determined using the Plastic meter ruler and it was used to measure the distance between the distal skin-crease and the tip of the index finger of each participant. The data were analysed by using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product moment correlation, Students t-tests, Analysis of Variance, Chi-square test of association and Multiple regression analysis. Level of significance was set at p< 0.05.
The mean age of all the participants was 9.11 ± 4.64 years. The mean weight, height and BMI were 27.13 ± 13.50 kg, 1.28 ± 0.26 metres and 16.34 ± 11.3 kg/m2 respectively. The mean FTUML of all participants was 1.98 ± 0.66 cm. The mean FTUML of different age classifications are 1.63 ± 0.93cm, 1.97 ± 0.22cm and 2.38 ± 0.19 for 1-6 years, 7 – 12 years and 13 – 17 years respectively. The mean age of male and female were 8.94 ± 4.41 years and 9.25 ± 4.83 years respectively. There was significant difference in the ages of male and female (t = 0.70, p = 0.003). There was significant difference in the FTUML of participants across the groups (F = 61.92, p = 0.001). The mean FTUML of participants in the 13-17 years age group was significantly higher than that of 1-6 years (p = 0.001) and 7-12 years (p = 0.001). The FTUML of male participants was 2.01 ± 0.87 cm while that of female participants was 1.96 ± 0.42 cm. There was significant association between gender and FTUML (χ2 = 47.50, p = 0.004). There was no significant difference in the FTUML of male and female (t = 0.65, p = 0.70). There was significant correlation between FTUML and age; weight, height, somatotype and all the selected anatomic girths (r = 0.48, p = 0.001; r = 0.48, p = 0.001; r = 0.45, p = 0.001 and r = 0.10, p = 0.05 respectively). Multiple regression analysis showed that age, weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and somatotype are significant predictors of FTUML (F = 11.26, p = 0.001). All the independent variables contributed 24.1% to the prediction of FTUML.
This study has provided reference values for FTUML of children and adolescent and it differed across different age groups. Age, weight, height, somatotype and all the selected anatomic girths are correlates of Fingertip Unit Metric Length. The selected independent variables (age, height, weight, Body Mass Index, anatomic body girths and somatotype) are significant predictors of FTUML.||en_US