Validity of Rapid Measures of Handwashing Behavior: An Analysis of Data from Multiple Impact Evaluations

Validity of Rapid Measures of Handwashing Behavior: An Analysis of Data from Multiple Impact Evaluations in the Global Scaling Up
Handwashing Project, 2014. Water and Sanitation Program.

Authors: Pavani K. Ram, Michelle W. Sahli, Benjamin Arnold, John M. Colford, Claire Chase, Bertha Briceño, Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, and Paul Gertler

This multicountry analysis has shown that observation of handwashing materials at the places where people wash hands, at the times most necessary for washing (after fecal contact and before food preparation), is a valid measure of handwashing with soap in multiple cultural and geographic contexts. There continues to be an overarching need for developing valid measures of handwashing behavior that can be collected in an efficient and inexpensive fashion. The structured observation data indicating low rates of soap use for handwashing at times of pathogen transmission reinforce the global imperative to improve handwashing behavior for prevention of the leading causes of death in young children.

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