Methods: The study was conducted in September, 2016 at S university in J city, South Korea. 300 students who used restrooms were divided into three groups of 100(m: 50, F: 50); non-intervention group, poster group, and voice message group. The subjects were observed in different restrooms of different buildings to avoid testing duplicated subjects. The research focused on whether the students washed hands using soap for at least 20 seconds(as called handwashing compliance), performed the six-step technique of washing hands, and the duration of handwashing The data were analyzed using SPSS 20.
Results: 17.3% of male students and 34.7% of female students washed hands using soap for over 20 seconds. The result showed a significant difference between gender(x²=11.7, p=.001). Handwashing compliance of male students was not significantly different among three groups; poster group(24%), voice message group(18%) and non-intervention group(10%) (x²=3.44, p=.1791), but it was different in female students, respectively voice message group 50%, poster group 32%, and non-intervention group 22%(x²=8.899, p=.012). Only 1 female student (2.4%) from the voice message group practiced six- step handwashing technique, whereas no male students completed six-step hand washing. 40% of male students in the poster group performed three steps or more hand washing, 25.6% in the voice message group, and 20.6% in the non-intervention group, but there was no significant difference(x²=3.45, p=.175). 63.4% of female students in the voice message group, 36.4% in the poster group, and 33.3% in non-intervention group performed three or more hand washing procedures, and there was a significant difference(x²=9.09, p=.011). The interaction of gender and intervention strategies was significant in the time spent handwashing(F=4.76, p=.009). Female students who heard a voice message washed their hands the longest(15.9±10.2 seconds), and non-intervention male group washed their hands the shortest(5.6±6.12 seconds).
Conclusion: There was a difference in the handwashing behavior according to the intervention strategy in each gender. Voice message strategy was effective for female students while the effect of poster for male student was not significant. Therefore, it is necessary to use an effective handwashing promotion strategy for each subject rather than a uniform method.