To investigate the association between the health literacy and hand hygiene practices of the older adults to help them fight against infectious diseases in Hong Kong

Pui Lai OR, Bonny Yee-Man WONG, Wai Yee Joanne CHUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Proper hand hygiene helps prevent infectious diseases, while health literacy plays a critical role in preventive health behaviors. It remains unclear as to why proper hand hygiene practices cannot be sustained and what role health literacy plays in older adults fight against infectious diseases.

Methods: A convenience sample of 433 old adults aged 65 and above was recruited. Their hygiene practices and health literacy were evaluated using a structured questionnaire adopted from the Centre for Health Protection and the Chinese version of the HLS-Asia-Q questionnaire.

Results: The percentage distribution of the hand hygiene performance, from always to never, was 18%-10%. A majority 63.28% (274) of them were classified as having inadequate health literacy (0-25), while a meager 1.62% (7) of them as having excellent health literacy (42.01-50). The Spearman correlation showed a significant positive relationship (P < 0.05) between the participants' health literacy and their hand hygiene practices.

Conclusions: Health literacy and hand hygiene are positively related in helping the older adults fight against infectious diseases. To sustain proper hand hygiene practices is to provide frequent hand hygiene training to the older adults. Copyright © 2020 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-489
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Volume48
Issue number5
Early online date07 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Citation

Or, P. P.-L., Wong, B. Y.-M., & Chung, J. W.-Y. (2020). To investigate the association between the health literacy and hand hygiene practices of the older adults to help them fight against infectious diseases in Hong Kong. American Journal of Infection Control, 48(5), 485-489. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2019.12.021

Keywords

  • Preventive health behaviors
  • Aging population
  • Health education and promotion

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