HealthDay News — Location, time of day, and age, as well as being in a group, are all associated with increased use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (AHS) for hospital visitors, according to a study published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Mary A. Hobbs, from Clemson University in South Carolina, and colleagues conducted an observational study with AHS placed in three different locations within the lobby of a large hospital. Data including visitor characteristics and use of AHS were collected.

The researchers found that visitors were 5.28 times more likely to use AHS when dispensers were located in the middle of the lobby, with limited landmarks or barriers. In addition, they were 1.35 times more likely to use AHS in the afternoon versus the morning. Younger visitors were more likely to use AHS (adjusted odds ratio, 1.47). The likelihood of using AHS was also increased when individuals were in a group (adjusted odds ratio, 1.39).

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“The results suggest future research opportunities to investigate the effect of group dynamics and social pressure on visitor AHS use and to identify strategies for improving visitor hand hygiene,” the authors write.


1. Hobbs MA, Robinson S, Neyens DN, Visitor characteristics and alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispenser locations at the hospital entrance: Effect on visitor use rates. Amer J Infect Cont. 2016; 44(3):258–262.