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VNA of Care New England

Many People Don't Wash Hands Well After Using Bathroom

In college town environment, more men don't wash hands at all, or wash without soap
THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many people do not engage in proper hand washing behaviors after using the restroom, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.
Carl P. Borchgrevnik, Ph.D., from Michigan State University in East Lansing, and colleagues conducted a field observation study involving 3,749 people in a college town environment to investigate hand washing compliance after using the restroom.
The researchers found that, although most individuals washed their hands with soap, 10.8 percent didn't wash their hands and 22.8 percent wet their hands without soap. Women used soap and engaged in proper washing behavior significantly more than men (77.9 versus 50.3 percent, respectively). Almost 15 of men and 7 percent of women didn't wash their hands at all, while 35.1 and 15.1 percent, respectively, just wet their hands with water. Participants who were estimated to be older than college age washed their hands with soap significantly more than college age and younger individuals (70.3 versus 64.8 percent). The presence of hand washing signs was associated with increased use of soap (68.5 versus 60.5 percent for restrooms without signs). People were less likely to wash their hands if the sink was reasonable clean (61.2 percent) or dirty (59.4 percent), compared with when the sink was clean (73.9 percent). Only 5.3 percent washed their hands for 15 seconds or longer.
"Hand washing compliance and practices as reported in this and previous studies fall short of the ideal," the authors write. "The public needs to be continuously encouraged to engage in proper hand washing practices."
Full Text (http://msutoday.msu.edu/_/pdf/assets/2013/hand-washing-study.pdf )
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