Study: Hand Hygiene Poster Increased Likelihood of Washing Hands

A hand hygiene poster increased the likelihood men would wash their hands, according to a study in Human Communication Research.

Researchers studied the hand washing behavior of 252 men aged 18 to 62 who used a men's restroom at a large college campus in the Midwestern U.S. Researchers assessed the effect of different posters on participants' hand washing. The poster depicted five male college students in a restroom facing a urinal with one of two descriptive norms — that four of every five college students (high-prevalence) or one of every five college students (low-prevalence) wash(es) their hands every time they use the bathroom.  


Data showed that 70 percent of participants in the control group, in which no poster was present, washed their hands, compared to 88 percent of participants in the low-prevalence group and 81 percent of the high-prevalence group. The difference in hand washing rates between the low-prevalence and high-prevalence groups was not significant, suggesting that the mere presence of a poster about hand washing increased the likelihood of hand washing, according to the authors.

More Articles on Hand Hygiene:

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