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Article

Can Face- and Smartphone-Touching Behaviors Be Altered with Personal Hygiene Reminders during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period? An Observational Study

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Department of Medicine, Shin Kong Wu-Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei 111, Taiwan
2
School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
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Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
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Department of Otolaryngology, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, New Taipei 23561, Taiwan
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National Taiwan University Hospital, Hsinchu Branch, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
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Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan
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Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan
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Master Program in School of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 111, Taiwan
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BT, UK
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Ph.D. Degree Program in Biomedical Science and Engineering, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rae Thomas, Julie Ayre, Kristen Pickles and Rachael Dodd
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910038
Received: 23 August 2021 / Revised: 6 September 2021 / Accepted: 13 September 2021 / Published: 24 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Behavioural Science during COVID-19)
As part of the new measures to prevent the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), medical students were advised to wear a mask in class and avoid touching their faces. Few studies have analyzed the influence of health education on the frequency of face- and smartphone-touching behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research compared the frequency of in-class face- and smartphone-touching behaviors of medical students before and after the delivery of personal hygiene education during the COVID-19 pandemic. A behavioral observational study was conducted involving medical students at Taipei Medical University. Eighty medical students were recruited during a lecture on otorhinolaryngology. All medical students were required to wear a mask. Their face- and smartphone-touching behavior was observed by viewing the 4 k resolution video tape recorded in class. The recording lasted for 2 h, comprising 1 h prior to the health educational reminder and 1 h afterwards. The frequencies of hand-to-face contact and hand-to-smartphone contact were analyzed before and after the delivery of health education emphasizing personal hygiene. Comprehensive health education and reminders effectively reduce the rate of face- and smartphone-touching behaviors. View Full-Text
Keywords: mask; smartphone touching; face touching; COVID-19 mask; smartphone touching; face touching; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, L.-Y.J.; Wang, S.-Y.; Yang, J.-M.; Chen, C.-J.; Tsai, C.-Y.; Wu, L.Y.-Y.; Wu, C.-J. Can Face- and Smartphone-Touching Behaviors Be Altered with Personal Hygiene Reminders during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period? An Observational Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10038. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910038

AMA Style

Li L-YJ, Wang S-Y, Yang J-M, Chen C-J, Tsai C-Y, Wu LY-Y, Wu C-J. Can Face- and Smartphone-Touching Behaviors Be Altered with Personal Hygiene Reminders during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period? An Observational Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(19):10038. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910038

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Lok-Yee Joyce, Shin-Yi Wang, Jinn-Moon Yang, Chih-Jou Chen, Cheng-Yu Tsai, Lucas Yee-Yan Wu, and Cheng-Jung Wu. 2021. "Can Face- and Smartphone-Touching Behaviors Be Altered with Personal Hygiene Reminders during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period? An Observational Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 19: 10038. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910038

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