December 16, 2008
‘Gross messages’ work to up hand washing
Gross messages such as
Poo on you, wash your hands, were effective in getting undergraduates to wash their hands more, a U.S. researcher suggests.
Lead author Renee Botta of the University of Denver and colleagues posted messages in the bathrooms of two undergraduate residence halls with messages like
You just peed, wash your hands, accompanied with vivid graphics and photos.
Fear of spreading germs or getting sick by not washing didn't mean much to students, Botta says in a statement.
What got their attention was the knowledge that they might be walking around with 'gross things' on their hands if they didn't wash.
The researchers tried gross messages, germ messages and you'll-get-sick messages, but they said the only ones with an impact were the gross messages.