A scale for measuring hygiene behavior: development, reliability and validity

Am J Infect Control. 2009 Sep;37(7):557-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2009.01.003. Epub 2009 Apr 10.


Background: There is currently no general self-report measure for assessing hygiene behavior. This article details the development and testing of such a measure.

Methods: In studies 1 to 4, a total of 855 participants were used for scale and subscale development and for reliability and validity testing. The latter involved establishing the relationships between self-reported hygiene behavior and existing measures, hand hygiene behavior, illness rates, and a physiological marker of immune function. In study 5, a total of 507 participants were used to assess the psychometric properties of the final revised version of the scale.

Results: The final 23-item scale comprised 5 subscales: general, household, food-related, handwashing technique, and personal hygiene. Studies 1 to 4 confirmed the scale's reliability and validity, and study 5 confirmed the scale's 5-factor structure.

Conclusions: The scale is potentially suitable for multiple uses, in various settings, and for experimental and correlational approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Food Handling / standards*
  • Hand Disinfection / standards*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Disclosure
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult