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Aims: Mobile/cell phone use has become an important socio-medical means of communication. The reason people use a particular ear to answer phone calls more frequently may be associated with hemispheric dominance/ handedness. We aim to determine association between hemispheric and or auditory dominance in laterality in mobile phone use.
Study Design: This was a three month prospective cross-sectional study involving all consenting medical and paramedical respondents.
Place and Duration of Study: Hospital community in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City , between 15th March to 15th June 2018.
Method: A modification of the Edinburgh handedness inventory (EHI) was the survey tool. Information retrieved included social demographics, hand most commonly used for activities like writing and picking of phone calls and ear used for phone conversation and the reasons. Data was analyzed using SPSS 19.0
Results: Of the 300 questionnaires distributed, 234 (78%) were completed by the respondents. There were 120(51.3%) males and114 (48.7%) females. Age ranged from 18 - 80years. A total of 201(85.9%) were right handed, 16(6.8%) left handed and 14(6.0%) ambidextrous. One hundred and fifty four (66%) routinely use their right hand to pick phone calls, 50(21.4%) left and 27 (11.5%) use both hands.
A total of 141(60%) receive calls with the right ear, 60 (25.6%) with left, and 31(13.2%) had no preference. Reasons advanced for the use of any particular ear included convenience 173 (73.9%), and better acuity 35(15%). Forty two (17.9%) agreed that the use of cell phone made them aware of their poor hearing in a particular ear. Using Pearson’s two tailed test of significance the probability of a right hander using the right hand to pick a phone call and placing it on the right ear is 0.99 or 99%, Vis a Vis left hander.
Conclusion: There appears to be an association between hemispheric dominance and laterality when using the mobile phone.