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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 70  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 156-161

Assessing differences in hand dominance by testing hand preference against hand performance


1 Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi, Chiromo Campus, KNH, Nairobi, Kenya
2 DVC-RPE Technical University Mombasa, Professor Ghent University, Mombasa, Kenya
3 DVC Academic Affairs, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pamela Mandela Idenya
Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi, KNH, Chiromo Campus, P. O. Box: 19676-00202, Nairobi
Kenya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JASI.JASI_38_20

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Introduction: Populations are categorized as right-handed, ambidextrous, and left-handed; but handedness must be understood as having borderlines within its continuum. Typical measures of handedness based on hand use preference or hand performance testing give results which indicate no exclusive categories for hand dominance. Training of preclinical medical students in the performance of clinical techniques certainly requires the high levels of manual dexterity and invaluable hand-eye co-ordination, both of which are expected to influence the end result of hand dominance testing. However, the assessment during skills training is mostly subject to the efficiency of carrying out a given procedure, which inevitably depends upon the individual's dominant hand. Material and Methods: In this analytic cross-sectional study, the modified Edinburgh Handedness Inventory for hand preference and the Tapley and Bryden Dot-filling Tasks for hand performance were evaluated one against the other, to conclusively categorize hand dominance amongst 162 preclinical medical students. Results: Hand performance dominance was not dependent on subject gender. Tapley and Bryden Dot-filling Tasks and Geschwind Score (GS) Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI) hand preference categories showed statistically significant differences (χ2 = 142.293, P < 0.001 at 95% confidence interval). Together, hand preference and hand performance testing complemented and reinforced the assessment of hand dominance. Tapley and Bryden Dot Filling Tasks in relation to GS EHI for the right hand had 90.7% sensitivity, 58.3% specificity, 96.5% precision value, and 88.3% accuracy. Discussion and Conclusion: The use of multiple measures to determine hand performance is a stronger predictor for evaluating hand dominance than relying on a unilateral measure. The number of previously performed procedures strongly influences the level of proficiency obtained in performing a specific task. Hand preference and performance must be considered together when assessing for potential differences in hand dominance testing.


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