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Hyang Soon Oh 1 Article
Hand-to-face contact behaviors during indoor activities in daily life among Korean adults: an observational pilot study using videotaping
Hyang Soon Oh, Mikyung Ryu, Youngran Yang
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021030.   Published online April 22, 2021
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Hand-to-face contact (HFC) is the major route for the self-inoculation of pathogens. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of HFC behaviors among Korean adults during indoor activities.
Thirty participants were enrolled in the study, and 2 hours of videotaped data were collected from each participant. Contact data were recorded by examining the frequency and duration of HFC on the videos. Three training sessions were conducted for 2 readers to ensure the accuracy and reliability of videotape reading. Re-reading and verification of selected video data were performed to confirm intrapersonal and interpersonal validity. Contact exposure (CE) was determined by multiplying the contact frequency (CF) by the contact duration (CD) to quantify the intensity of contact during the observation time (2 hours).
A total of 3,007 HFCs (1,305 mucous membrane contacts and 1,702 non-mucous membrane contacts) were observed for 60 person-hours. The median CF (person/2 hr) of the mucous membranes (eye; 4.0, nose; 15.5, mouth; 16.5) was 39.5/person and the median total CD was 177.0 sec/person. The median CE (frequency-duration/sec/person) was 5,795.0 (mouth: 1,356.0, nose: 600.0, eye: 57.5).
This study showed that the mouth and nose were the most frequent exposure sites for HFC. Avoiding habitual HFC, awareness of self-inoculation by HFC, and vigorous hand hygiene should be strengthened to prevent the spread of infections.
Korean summary
· 얼굴의 가장 빈번한 직접 자가 손접촉 노출은 입과 코에서 발생했습니다. · 접촉 노출량 지표 (contact exposure)는 입과 코에 자가 손접촉을 보다 잘 구별할 수 있습니다. · 습관적인 손-얼굴 접촉을 피하고, 마스크 사용 및 철저한 손위생으로 감염성 질환의 전파를 예방해야 합니다.
Key Message
• Average contact frequency (no./person) and contact duration (sec/person) of hand-to-face contact to the mucous membranes were high on the mouth, nose and then nose. • Contact exposure could differentiate more distinguished the hand contacts to mouth and to nose than contact frequency. • Hand-to face contacts, especially to mouth and then to nose can be the most frequent route of self-inoculation among Korean adults. • Avoiding habitual hand-to-face contacts, mask use, and vigorous hand hygiene should be strengthened as we counter epidemics of transmitting infectious diseases.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Impact of a Serious Game (#RedPingüiNO) to Reduce Facial Self-Touches and Prevent Exposure to Pathogens Transmitted via Hands: Quasi-Experimental Intervention
    Marta Arévalo-Baeza, Alejandro Viuda-Serrano, Carmen Juan-Llamas, Pablo Sotoca-Orgaz, Iván Asín-Izquierdo
    JMIR Serious Games.2023; 11: e45600.     CrossRef
  • Hemşirelik Öğrencilerine Eğitimleri Sırasında Öğretilen Asepsi Uygulamalarının Covid -19 Pandemi Dönemindeki Bireysel Uygulamalarına Etkisi
    Uludağ Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Dergisi.2023; 49(2): 245.     CrossRef
  • Hand-to-Face Contact of Preschoolers during Indoor Activities in Childcare Facilities in the Republic of Korea
    Hyang Soon Oh, Mikyung Ryu
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2022; 19(20): 13282.     CrossRef

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