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Hand (N Y). 2011 Sep;6(3):295-303. doi: 10.1007/s11552-011-9324-x. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Establishing hand preference: why does it matter?

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Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Physical Therapy Department, Wayne State University, 259 Mack Ave., Detroit, MI USA.


Hand preference has been associated with psychological and physical well-being, risk of injury, pathological irregularities, longevity, and cognitive function. To determine hand preference, individuals are often asked what hand they use to write with, or what hand is used more frequently in activities of daily living. However, relying only on one source of information may be misleading, given the strong evidence to support a disassociation between self-reported hand preference and outcomes of hand performance assessments. This brief communication is intended to highlight the various methods used to determine hand preference, to discuss the relationship between hand preference inventories and performance measures and to present some recent findings associated with hand preference and musculoskeletal disorders.


Hand assessments; Hand preference; Performance measures

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