Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science


Fraser, Angela M

Committee Member

Kunkel , Mary E

Committee Member

Barron , Felix H


Many factors influence hygiene but those that have the greatest impact vary widely across population groups. Our aim was to characterize hand hygiene practices of Saudi students studying in the U.S. by completing two objectives: (1) assess hand hygiene knowledge, perceptions, and practices of Saudi students studying in the U.S. and (2) determine the relationship among knowledge, perceptions, and practices.
A modified version of the Health Belief Model was the theoretical framework to characterize hand hygiene practices. A web-based instrument was posted to the ¬DSaudis Studying in USAÁÂ Facebook page. The instrument was prepared in English then translated into Arabic. Data was collected between September 6, 2011, and October 14, 2011.
Over 800 individuals (N=831) accessed the survey; 352 completed it [239 males (70%) and 103 females (30%)]. The mean knowledge score out of 9 was 4.26+1.51. The most frequently reported responses across six subpractices--soap, water temperature, wash length, drying method, hand sanitizer use, and frequency before seven situations--were the correct methods.
A probit model was run to determine which five perceptions influenced frequency of handwashing. Frequency was selected as the outcome variable because we wanted to determine what influenced the entire handwashing process and not the individual subpractices. Susceptibility and seriousness of foodborne disease and benefits of handwashing did not significantly influence frequency in any situation. Value of good health had a significant influence (p<0.05) on frequency after handling garbage. Barriers to handwashing had a similar significant (p<0.05) negative influence on frequency of handwashing. Importance and motivation had a similar significant (p<0.05) positive influence on frequency of handwashing.
Saudi students have limited knowledge about hand hygiene but their hand hygiene practices are generally good across situations. The only two perceptions to significantly influence frequency of handwashing were barriers to handwashing and importance and motivation of handwashing.

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