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Handedness in post-traumatic stress disorder

Publication year 2023
Published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Authors Jette Borawski, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, J. Packheiser, Sebastian Ocklenburg

The main objective of this meta-analysis was to investigate handedness in post-traumatic stress disorder on a meta-analytical level. For this purpose, articles were identified via a search in PubMed, PsychInfo, PubPsych, ResearchGate, and Google Scholar. Studies reporting findings relating to handedness in PTSD patients and healthy controls were considered eligible. In total, k = 14 studies with an overall N of 2939 (747 PTSD patients and 2192 controls) were included in the study. Random-effects meta-analyses, as well as robust Bayes meta-analyses (RoBMA), were conducted for three comparisons: (a) non-right-handedness, (b) left-handedness, and (c) mixed-handedness. Results showed significantly higher frequencies of non-right-handedness (odds ratio = 1.81) and mixed-handedness (odds ratio = 2.42) in PTSD patients compared to controls. No differences were found for left-handedness. This specific effect of mixed-handedness is in line with findings for other disorders, such as schizophrenia. Future studies should investigate common neurodevelopmental origins for the relationship between mixed-handedness and psychopathology and aim at investigating both handedness direction and handedness strength.

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