Hygiene and health: systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects

Estimates the global prevalence of handwashing with soap and derives an estimate of the effect of hygiene on diarrhoeal diseases

Abstract

This study estimates the global prevalence of handwashing with soap and derives a pooled estimate of the effect of hygiene on diarrhoeal diseases, based on a systematic search of the literature. Meta-regression of risk estimates suggests that handwashing reduces the risk of diarrhoeal disease by 40% (risk ratio 0.60, 95% CI 0.53–0.68); and by 23% (risk ratio 0.77, 95% CI 0.32–1.86), when adjusted for unblinded studies.

Citation

Freeman, M.C.; Stocks, M.E.; Cumming, O.; Jeandron, A.; Higgins, J.P.T.; Wolf, J.; Pruss-Ustun, A.; Bonjour, S.; Hunter, P.R.; Fewtrell, L.; Curtis, V. Hygiene and health: systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects. Tropical Medicine and International Health (2014) : [DOI: 10.1111/tmi.12339]

Hygiene and health: systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects

Published 1 January 2014