Restoring public confidence in hygiene is key to behaviour change

It seems clear that, getting people to change hygiene behaviour depends not only on promoting hygiene practice but also changing public understanding of hygiene and restoring their confidence in hygiene.

We need the public to believe that infection doesn’t “happen by accident or misfortune” – it is preventable in many cases. If we believe we have no control over whether we get an infection, we will not take measures to control it. We also need to persuade people of the direct benefits of hygiene to them as individuals e.g. avoiding loss of income, costs of childcare, disruption of family leisure activities, etc. In the last year, IFH has been working to find out more about consumers’ understanding of hygiene and hygiene issues.