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The Association Between Handwashing Practices and Illness Symptoms among College Students Living in a University Dormitory.

The researchers describe handwashing practices, the association of handwashing with upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, and the effects of gender on handwashing practices among male (n = 215) and female (n = 243) college students. Self-reported frequency of handwashing was not associated with infectious illness symptom reporting. Only a small proportion of males (10%) and females (7%) reported “always” washing their hands before eating. Females were more likely than males to always wash their hands after urinating (69% vs 43%; P < 0.0001) and after a bowel movement (84% vs 78%; P = 0.14). Identifying new strategies to increase handwashing may help prevent infectious disease transmission in residence hall environments. AJIC. 2009;37(1):70-2.

Author: Thumma J, Aiello A, Foxman B

Published: 01/07/2009

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: American Journal of Infection Control.