Who Washes Hands After Using the Bathroom?

A school study observes student handwashing behavior

Maryellen E. Guinan
Maryanne McGuckin-Guinan, DrScEd, MT(ASCP) 
Alice Sevareid, MS

The Study: 
The authors of this study observed the handwashing behaviors of students from two independent single-sex private schools in Pennsylvania. Participants included 30 students (all male or all female) in each middle school and high school division for a total sample size of 120 students. Observations were conducted over a 4-week period at different times of the day and in various bathrooms.

The Results:
Their results show that 58% of female students washed their hands after bathroom use, compared with 48% for male students. Female students used soap 28% of the time, while male students used soap 8% of the time. Female students washed their hands for more than 5 seconds 50% of the time, compared with 23% for male students.

Am J Infect Control. 2000; 28: 424-25