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Hand Washing Practices in a College Town Environment

Many people do not wash their hands when the behaviour in which they engage would warrant it.  Most research of hand washing practices to date has taken place in high-traffic environments such as airports and public attraction venues.

These studies have established a persistant shortcoming and a gender difference in hand washing comliance.  Using field observations of 3,749 people in a college town environment, the research described in this article replicates and extends earlier work while identifying potential environmental and demographical predictors of hand washing compliance.

Additionally, the authors’ research suggests that the proper hand washing practices, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are not being practiced.

Finally, the authors’ research raises a question as to the accurancy of earlier measurements of “proper” hand washing practices, suggesting that compliance rates are inflated.  The results can help increase hand washing rates for the general public and thus decrease the risk of transmitting disease.

Author: Borchgrevink CP, Cha J, Kim S

Citation: J Environ Health. 2013 Apr;75(8):18-24

Published: 01/04/2013

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Journal of Environmental Health