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Original Article
Handwashing with soap and national handwashing projects in Korea: focus on the National Handwashing Survey, 2006-2014
Moo-Sik Lee, Su Jin Hong, Young-Taek Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015039.   Published online August 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015039
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  • 17 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Handwashing is the most fundamental way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Correct handwashing can prevent 50 to 70% of water-infections and foodborne-infections. We report the results of a fact-finding study on general handwashing attitude and practice in the Republic of Korea by analyzing habits and awareness among adults and students (grades 4 to 12) based on the 2006 to 2014 National Handwashing Surveys and observational surveys.
METHODS
The awareness survey was performed by telephone interviews with adults and students in 16 municipalities and provinces sampled by quota for region, sex and age. The observational survey was performed in subway, railway, and other public restrooms in seven municipalities selected through systematic sampling.
RESULTS
Adults and students washed their hands with soap/sanitizer an average of 6.6 and 5.2 times daily, respectively, in 2014, an increase and decrease compared to 2006 (4.8) and 2013 (6.8). Their average daily handwashing frequency in 2014, 9.8 and 8.3, was higher than in 2006 (7.6), but lower than in 2013 (10.3).The percentage of participants handwashing with soap after using the restroom (29.5%) has been increasing since 2009, but remain slower than in other countries (42% to 49%). The percentages of participants handwashing with water in 2014, 2013, and 2011 were 57.5%, 72.6%, and 71.4%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
Handwashing with soap is an important national public health issue, and national projects promoting it should be given high priority. Research support is necessary to provide scientific evidence of the importance of handwashing with soap and to develop and implement evidence-based policies.
Summary
Korean summary
우리나라(한국)의 2006년부터 2014년 사이에 수행된 손씻기 실태조사 결과분석을 통하여 성인과 초•중•고등학생들의 평소 손씻기 실태 및 인식, 공공화장실 이용시 손씻기 행동의 수준 및 추세를 파악함으로써 추후 비누로 손씻기 사업의 근거와 정책 및 전략 개발의 기초자료를 제공하고자 하였다.
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Citations

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