Handwashing message still not sufficiently robust as people fail to protect themselves – and others.

Strong messaging regarding the effect on others has been suggested

People around the globe have not reached sufficiently high levels of hand washing compliance, despite the current pandemic – which puts themselves and others at risk according to a recent report on the Mirage News website1.

The article flags up a worrying lack of effective soap and water hand washing at appropriate times in Australia, stating that the average person “only occasionally” washed their hands properly, despite the worldwide recognition that the activity is acknowledged as being one of the most important ways of keeping COVID-19 – and many other illnesses – in check.

The reported study was published in Psychology and Health: the survey, apart from assessing hand washing habits also considered how to encourage Australians to wash their hands more regularly as well as more effectively.

Despite the survey being carried out at a time when many states were in lockdown (between May and November last year) the study “showed that people reported only occasionally washing their hands properly, on average.”

Strong visual clues lead to increased hand washing frequency

Lead researcher Professor Barbara Mullan, from the Curtin School of Population Health concluded that a way round this would be to provide visual and environmental clues and reminders that hand washing should take place.

“A person may be washing their hands in a public bathroom with no intention of using soap, but when they look at the mirror and see a sign that encourages them to use the soap, they are more likely to use the soap. This acts as a cue to assist the individual in executing the behaviour.”

Professor Mullan also suggested that publicity focussing on the detrimental effect on others – particularly loved ones – could become a hand hygiene motivator.

“Given the benefits of good hand hygiene, interventions to improve adherence should be a top health priority.”

View the survey: Understanding the predictors of hand hygiene using aspects of the theory of planned behaviour and temporal self-regulation theory.2

Images show a Teal MediWash mobile handwash unit, which features a timed handwashing programme. The video screen depicts appropriate washing actions to encourage effective hand hygiene.3

1 https://www.miragenews.com/not-even-global-pandemic-can-stop-poor-hand-629698/

2 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08870446.2021.1974862

3 https://www.tealwash.com/shop/hygienius-mediwash/

For further information please contact Philip Briggs at Teal Patents Ltd


07543 661 672