Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/80829
Title: Epidemiological investigation on hand hygiene knowledge and behaviour : a cross-sectional study on gender disparity
Authors: Suen, LKP 
So, ZYY 
Yeung, SKW 
Lo, KYK 
Lam, SC 
Keywords: Gender
Hand hygiene
Hand washing
Survey
Knowledge
Hand drying
Public
Washrooms
Cross sectional study
Issue Date: 11-Apr-2019
Publisher: BioMed Central
Source: BMC public health, 11 Apr. 2019, 19:401, p. 1-14 How to cite?
Journal: BMC public health 
Abstract: Background: The hand hygiene (HH) behaviour of the general public and its effect on illnesses are issues of growing importance. Gender is associated with HH behaviour. HH efficiency is a combination of washing efficiency and hand drying, but information about the knowledge level and HH behaviour of the general public is relatively limited. The findings of this cross-sectional study can substantially contribute to the understanding on the knowledge gap and public behaviour towards HH, thereby providing information on gender-specific health promotion activities and campaigns to improve HH compliance.
Methods: An epidemiological investigation by using a cross-sectional study design on the general public was conducted either via an online platform (SurveyMonkey) or paper-and-pen methods. The hand-washing and -drying questionnaire was used for data collection.
Results: A total of 815 valid questionnaires were collected. Majority of the respondents can differentiate the diseases that can or cannot be transmitted with poor HH, but the HH knowledge of the respondents was relatively inadequate. The female respondents had a significantly better HH knowledge than male respondents. The multiple regression analysis results also indicated that females had a significantly higher knowledge score by 0.288 towards HH than males after adjusting for age and education level. Although the majority of the respondents indicated that they performed hand cleaning under different specific situations, they admitted only using water instead of washing their hands with soap. More males than females dried their hands on their own clothing, whereas more females dried their hands through air evaporation. The average time of using warm hand dryers was generally inadequate amongst the respondents.
Conclusions: Being a female, middle-aged and having tertiary education level are protective factors to improve HH knowledge. Misconceptions related to the concepts associated with HH were noted amongst the public. Self-reported practice on hand drying methods indicated that additional education was needed. The findings of this study can provide information on gender-specific health promotion activities and creative campaigns to achieve sustained improvement in HH practices.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/80829
EISSN: 1471-2458
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-6705-5
Rights: © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
The following publication Suen, L. K., So, Z. Y., Yeung, S. K., Lo, K. Y. K., & Lam, S. C. (2019). Epidemiological investigation on hand hygiene knowledge and behaviour: a crosssectional study on gender disparity. BMC public health, 19, 401, 1-14 is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6705-5
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