How Frequently Do Ordinary Citizens Practice Hand Hygiene at Appropriate Moments during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan?

Jpn J Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 22;74(5):405-410. doi: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2020.631. Epub 2021 Jan 29.


We aimed to clarify the status of hand hygiene practices among ordinary citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, as well as the frequency of daily hand hygiene as an indicator of education and evaluation. This cross-sectional study was based on an internet survey completed by 2,149 participants (age range: 20-79 years, men: 51.0%, response rate: 89.5%), selected from June 23 to 28, 2020. The participants responded regarding the frequency of implementing hand hygiene at 5 moments (after returning from a public place, after using the toilet, after touching something outside, before eating food, and after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing). Additionally, the participants responded to the number of daily hand hygiene events. The cutoff value of the total number of daily hand hygiene events to determine whether hand hygiene was performed at all 5 time points was determined using receiver operating characteristic analysis. The mean number of hand hygiene events was 10.2 times/day. The prevalence of implementing hand hygiene at each moment ranged from 30.2% to 76.4%; only 21.1% of respondents practiced hand hygiene at all times. Both Youden Index and specificity were high when the cut-off value was 11 times/day. Therefore, the criterion of hand hygiene (≥11 times/day) may be useful in education and evaluation.

Keywords: COVID-19; epidemiology; hand hygiene; pandemic; public health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hand Hygiene / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult