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Getting College Students To Wash Hands, Halt Disease, Requires Giving Them Proper Tools and Spreading The Word In Ways That Get Attention, Say K-State Expert and Colleague
Date:9/4/2009

nough," Chapman said. "Public health officials need to be creative with their communication methods and messages."

Most students surveyed perceived at least one barrier to following recommended hand hygiene procedures. More than 90 percent cited the lack of soap, paper towels or hand sanitizer. Additional perceived barriers were the notion that hand washing causes irritation and dryness, along with just being lazy and forgetful about hand washing. Fewer than 7 percent said a lack of knowledge of the recommended hand hygiene procedures was a barrier.

"Providing more facts is not going to get students to wash their hands," Powell said. "Compelling messages using a variety of media - text messages, Facebook and traditional posters with surprising images -- may increase hand washing rates and ultimately lead to fewer sick people."

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