The effect of factors such as handedness, sex and age on body temperature measured by an infrared 'tympanic' thermometer

Andrew Heusch, V Suresh, Peter McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of IRET has been called into question. However, there are a number of factors that might affect ear temperature measurement. Some of these are the focus of this study.

METHOD: 366 asymptomatic subjects (0.75 to 53 years old) volunteered to take part in this ethically approved study. The data were analysed in respect to handedness, sex and age.

RESULTS: Two-way ANOVAs showed significant interactions between age group and sex (first ear measured, p = 0.017; second p = 0.298), and between handedness and sex (first ear measured, p = 0.011; second p = 0.040) in relation to their ear temperature. Ear temperatures of males tended to be lower than females, however this only found significance in the 'Early Puberty' age group (p < 0.001).

DISCUSSION: Significant differences in ear temperature were seen for handedness, sex and age.

CONCLUSION: We have shown that handedness, sex and age might be contributory factors to ear temperature differences in the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-41
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2006


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Body Temperature
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ear Canal
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Distribution
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared
  • Thermography
  • Tympanic Membrane
  • Clinical Trial
  • Journal Article


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