University of New England
July 25, 2013
Evaluation Review of Hand Washing Program for 2nd-Graders
Hand washing has been long been proven to prevent disease and the spread of germs. Bayer Pharmaceutical, did an observational study of over 6,000 adults in five major cities that indicated only 68% washed their hands after using a public restroom (Bayer Pharmaceutical Division and Wirthlin Worldwide Research, 1996) The program evaluation I am reviewing, attempts to use a multiple-session intervention based on a theoretical model of behavioral change to increase hand washing behaviors in children. The purpose of the study was to determine if a learner-centered hand washing intervention program would increase hand hygiene behaviors of students between the third and fourth weeks of the study. The second purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The study used the hypothesis that a majority of the students will show an improvement in washing hands and that there would be a lower absenteeism rate when compared to control classes. Teachers were asked to evaluate the program for effectiveness.
The program was implemented in 19 2nd grade classes in seven schools in Rockford, Illinois. The program utilized the public school system. A sample of 406 participants was used. The control group consisted of 19 second grade classes from the same seven schools. 15 volunteers were used to implement the study. Volunteers consisted of members of the Rockford Hand Washing coalition and the Winnebago County Health Department as well as members from the community. The students were then monitored for 4 consecutive weeks. Hand washing dispensers and sanitizer bags were then placed in all 19 classes.
Two to four members would then visit each of the 19 classrooms each week. For approximately 30 minutes the children would participate in the hand washing program. The format for each week stayed the same to allow for consistency. The format presented was as follows:
1. Open-Ended Class Discussion: Staff would ask the children a series of simple open-ended questions calling on individual students for answers. Questions were designed to promote class discussion, storytelling and problem solving. This gave the staff the opportunity to incorporate the curriculum into the discussions.
2. Learning Demonstration and Activity: A new learner-centered activity was introduced to the children each week for four weeks.
a. Week 1 each child was shown how to use the Glitterbug device to show proper hand washing techniques.
b. Week 2 each child touched an agar plate before and after washing.
c. Week 3 the children discussed their agar plate results with volunteers
d. Week 4 the children repeated week 1 hand washing techniques minus instructions
3. Distribution of handouts: Students received coloring sheets and stickers to take home. Students were given certificates of completion weekly.
4. Summary of Key Learning Points/Self-Monitoring: Children were asked to summarize key points after weekly presentations. Students were also asked to self –monitor their selves and discuss the results the following week.
The evaluation reports there were four primary types of data collected. This was done with quantitative data analysis using SPSS software. The types of data analyzed were parent Evaluation Surveys, Teacher Evaluation Surveys, Agar Plate Data and Absenteeism Data.
Parent Evaluation Surveys showed an increase in the number of children who changed their hand washing behaviors. One hundred and ninety-three parents returned their surveys (47.5%). 64% noticed an increase in the frequency of hand washing, 50% noted an increase in the duration of hand washing. 79% of the parents reported they did not have to remind their children to wash up before meals. Parents reported an increase in their children having…