J Agric Med Community Health.  2015 Dec;40(4):206-220. 10.5393/JAMCH.2015.40.4.206.

Relationship between handwashing practices and infectious diseases in Korean students

  • 1Department of Public Health, The Graduate School of Public Health & Wlefare, Konyang University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Korea. mslee@konyang.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Korea.
  • 4Department of Health & Welfare Management, Konyang Cyber University, Korea.
  • 5Department of Advertising and Public Relations, School of Communication, Sewon University, Korea.
  • 6Division of Infectious Disease Control, Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between practice and infectious diseases in elementary, middle and high school students.
In 16 metropolitan cities and province of the Korea, the students who from fourth grade of elementary school to third grade of high school were surveyed by personal interviews and an web-based online survey from 5 to 25 September, 2014. We analyzed data with chi-square test and logistic regression analysis.
Common cold, diarrhea, and eye infections were more prevalent among students in higher grade than lower grade. In particular, common cold was more prevalent among girls than boys, using hand sanitizer than washing with soaps, and students who wash the dorsal side of hand than not wash the dorsal side of hand.
Higher-grade students showed low status of hand washing practice. Hand washing was determined as the fact which influences to increase the prevention of communicable disease such as common cold. Considering the fact that youth groups have higher risk of being infected due to their group life, schools are recommended to provide adequate educations regarding proper hand washing practice with soap.


Communicable disease; Hand washing; Students
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