Navigation Links
To get college students to wash hands requires proper tools, attention-getting tactics
Date:9/4/2009

The path to poor hand sanitation is paved with good intentions, according to researchers from Kansas State and North Carolina State Universities.

As college campuses prepare for an expected increase in H1N1 flu this fall, the researchers said students' actions will speak louder than words.

"Many students say they routinely wash their hands," said Douglas Powell, an associate professor of food safety at Kansas State University. "But even in an outbreak situation, many students simply don't."

In February 2006, Powell and two colleagues -- Ben Chapman, an assistant professor at North Carolina State University, and research assistant Brae Surgeoner -- observed hand sanitation behavior during an outbreak. What was thought to have been norovirus sickened nearly 340 students at the University of Guelph in Canada.

Hand sanitation stations and informational posters were stationed at the entrance to a residence hall cafeteria, where the potential for cross-contamination was high. The researchers observed that even during a high-profile outbreak, students followed recommended hand hygiene procedures just 17 percent of the time. In a self-reported survey after the outbreak had subsided, 83 of 100 students surveyed said they always followed proper hand hygiene but estimated that less than half of their peers did the same.

The results appear in the September issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.

Powell said that in addition to providing the basic tools for hand washing vigorous running water, soap and paper towels -- college students, especially those living in residence halls, need a variety of messages and media continually encouraging them to practice good hand hygiene.

"Telling people to wash their hands or posting signs that say, 'Wash your hands' isn't enough," 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."


'/>"/>

Contact: Douglas Powell
dpowell@k-state.edu
785-317-0560
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. College Mental Health Expert and Sister of Student Who Died By Suicide Available to Discuss College Mental Health Issues
2. Trojan(R) Ranks U.S. Colleges and Universities in Second Annual Sexual Health Report Card
3. American College of Physicians publishes The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health
4. $8,000 Winning Bids at Governors Livestock Auction to Benefit College-Bound Youth and Homeless
5. NIH selects Weill Cornell Medical College to lead new NYC translational research collaboration
6. Victimization for sexual orientation increases suicidal behavior in college students
7. American College of Physicians recommends flu vaccination for health-care workers
8. Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Rachel Jones wins New York Times Nurse Award
9. CRH Medical to exhibit at American College of Surgeons Annual Clinical Congress
10. Prime Minister views innovative health technology at Imperial College London
11. Frequently Asked Questions When Considering a Colorectal Cancer Screening Test, From the American College of Gastroenterology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but ... Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90 percent of Americans ... to cook a hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Oakland, California (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... liabilities associated with discovery of thousands of defective respirators, according to court documents ... in the case of William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Georgia State University ... specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand for curricular specializations, the ... law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , “The demand for lawyers ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... the men and women who lost their lives in military battle for the country. ... discount cards in 2015 to provide more programs that empower independence for disabled military ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... that has a significant negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team ... results, published online this week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... FDA 510(k) clearance covers ... for urological and surgical applications Mauna ... Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) platform, ... US with the 12 th 510(k) clearance ... This new FDA clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes indicated ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... IRVINE, Calif. , May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of testing for their new reference materials that ... workflows from sample collection to analyses. The rapid ... the demand for researchers to have standard methods ... data being generated. Biases inherently exist at every ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... CHESTERFIELD, Va. , May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... next-generation sequencing test for wounds and infections. This ... ALL parasites, and select viruses. The test requires ... area. David G. Bostwick ... molecular testing to facilitate wound healing: "We are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: