ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

Introduction: Personal hygiene is a key component of human well-being regardless of religion, culture or origin. Human health is related to behaviour, however, it results from the influence of multiple factors affected by the environment, education, and culture. According to behavioural theories, hand cleansing patterns are most likely to be established in the first 10 years of life. The attitude of handwashing in more specific opportunities is called “elective handwashing practice” and may more frequently correspond to some of the indications for hand hygiene during health-care delivery. In some populations, both inherent and elective hand hygiene practices are deeply influenced by cultural and religious factors. Even though it is very difficult to establish a strong inherent attitude towards hand hygiene, the potential impact of some religious habits is worth considering. Hand hygiene can be practiced for hygienic reasons, ritual reasons during religious ceremonies, and symbolic reasons in specific everyday life situations. Judaism, Islam and Sikhism, for example, have precise rules for handwashing included in the holy texts and this practice punctuates several crucial moments of the day. Therefore, a serious practicing believer is a careful observer of these indications, though it is well known that in some cases, such as with Judaism, religion underlies the very culture of the population in such a way that the two concepts become almost indistinguishable. As a consequence of this, even those who do not consider themselves strong believers behave according to religious principles in every day life. However, it is very difficult to establish inherent and elective behaviour in hand hygiene, deepseated in some communities, may influence HCWs’ attitude towards hand cleansing during health-care delivery. It is likely that those who are used to care about hand hygiene in their personal lives are more likely to be careful in their professional lives as well, and to consider hand hygiene as a duty to guarantee patient safety. Of the five basic tenets of Islam, observing regular prayer five times daily is one of the most important. Personal cleanliness is paramount to worship in Islam. Muslims must perform methodical ablutions before praying, and clear instructions are given in the holy Quran that precisely told how these should be carried out. The Prophet Mohammed always urged Muslims to wash hands frequently, especially after some clearly defined tasks. Thus, every observant Muslim is required to maintain scrupulous personal hygiene at five intervals throughout the day, aside from his/her usual routine of bathing as specified in the holy Quran. These habits transcend Muslims of all races, cultures and ages, emphasizing the importance ascribed to correct ablutions. In general, the indications given by Christ’s example refer more to spiritual behaviour, but the emphasis on this specific point of view does not imply that personal hygiene and body care are not important in the Christian way of life. Similarly, there are no specific indications regarding hand hygiene in daily life in the Buddhist faith, nor during ritual occasions, apart from the hygienic act of washing hands after each meal. Similarly, specific indications regarding hand hygiene are nonexistent in the Buddhist faith. No mention is made of hand cleansing in everyday life, nor during ritual occasions. Culture might also be an influential factor aside from religious background. In certain African countries (e.g. Ghana and some other West African countries) hand hygiene is commonly practiced in specific situations of daily life according to some ancient traditions. For instance, hands must always be washed before raising anything to one's lips. In particular, no data are available on the impact of religious norms on hand hygiene compliance in health-care settings where religion is very deep-seated. This is a very interesting area for research in a global perspective, because this kind of information could be very useful to identify the best components of a program for hand hygiene promotion. It could be established that, in some contexts, emphasizing the link between religious and health issues may be very advantageous. Moreover, an assessment survey may also show that in populations with a high religious observance of hand hygiene, compliance with hand hygiene in health care will be higher than in other settings and, therefore, it does not need to be further strengthened or, at least, education strategies should be oriented towards different aspects of hand hygiene and patient care.
1 Patient Saf Qual Improv Spring 2015; Vol. 3, No. 2, Supplement
Importance of hand hygiene in different religions
Mohammad Ali Kiani1, Masumeh
Saeidi2
Oral Presentation
1.Associate Professor, Department
of Pediatrics, Mashhad University
of Medical Sciences, Mashhad,
Iran
2.Students Research Committee,
Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad
University of Medical Sciences,
Mashhad, Iran
A B S T R A C T
Introduction: Personal hygiene is a key component of human well-being
regardless of religion, culture or origin. Human health is related to behaviour,
however, it results from the influence of multiple factors affected by the
environment, education, and culture. According to behavioural theories, hand
cleansing patterns are most likely to be established in the first 10 years of life.
The attitude of handwashing in more specific opportunities is called “elective
handwashing practice” and may more frequently correspond to some of the
indications for hand hygiene during health-care delivery. In some populations,
both inherent and elective hand hygiene practices are deeply influenced by
cultural and religious factors. Even though it is very difficult to establish a
strong inherent attitude towards hand hygiene, the potential impact of some
religious habits is worth considering. Hand hygiene can be practiced for
hygienic reasons, ritual reasons during religious ceremonies, and symbolic
reasons in specific everyday life situations. Judaism, Islam and Sikhism, for
example, have precise rules for handwashing included in the holy texts and this
practice punctuates several crucial moments of the day. Therefore, a serious
practicing believer is a careful observer of these indications, though it is well
known that in some cases, such as with Judaism, religion underlies the very
culture of the population in such a way that the two concepts become almost
indistinguishable. As a consequence of this, even those who do not consider
themselves strong believers behave according to religious principles in every
day life. However, it is very difficult to establish inherent and elective
behaviour in hand hygiene, deepseated in some communities, may influence
HCWs attitude towards hand cleansing during health-care delivery. It is
likely that those who are used to care about hand hygiene in their personal lives
are more likely to be careful in their professional lives as well, and to consider
hand hygiene as a duty to guarantee patient safety. Of the five basic tenets of
Islam, observing regular prayer five times daily is one of the most important.
Personal cleanliness is paramount to worship in Islam. Muslims must perform
methodical ablutions before praying, and clear instructions are given in the holy
Quran that precisely told how these should be carried out. The Prophet
Mohammed always urged Muslims to wash hands frequently, especially after
some clearly defined tasks. Thus, every observant Muslim is required to
maintain scrupulous personal hygiene at five intervals throughout the day, aside
from his/her usual routine of bathing as specified in the holy Quran. These
habits transcend Muslims of all races, cultures and ages, emphasizing the
importance ascribed to correct ablutions. In general, the indications given by
Christs example refer more to spiritual behaviour, but the emphasis on this
specific point of view does not imply that personal hygiene and body care are
not important in the Christian way of life. Similarly, there are no specific
indications regarding hand hygiene in daily life in the Buddhist faith, nor
during ritual occasions, apart from the hygienic act of washing hands after each
meal. Similarly, specific indications regarding hand hygiene are nonexistent in
the Buddhist faith. No mention is made of hand cleansing in everyday life, nor
during ritual occasions. Culture might also be an influential factor aside from
religious background. In certain African countries (e.g. Ghana and some other
West African countries) hand hygiene is commonly practiced in specific
situations of daily life according to some ancient traditions. For instance, hands
must always be washed before raising anything to one's lips. In particular, no
Kiani et al Hand Hygine in Religions
2 Patient Saf Qual Improv Spring 2015; Vol. 3, No. 2, Supplement
data are available on the impact of religious norms on hand hygiene compliance
in health-care settings where religion is very deep-seated. This is a very
interesting area for research in a global perspective, because this kind of
information could be very useful to identify the best components of a program
for hand hygiene promotion. It could be established that, in some contexts,
emphasizing the link between religious and health issues may be very
advantageous. Moreover, an assessment survey may also show that in
populations with a high religious observance of hand hygiene,
compliance with hand hygiene in health care will be higher than in other
settings and, therefore, it does not need to be further strengthened or, at
least, education strategies should be oriented towards different aspects
of hand hygiene and patient care.
... Further in history, religions connected hygiene with cleanliness and conduct. In this respect, understanding what hygiene meant in peoples' mind is crucial to bring desirable changes [19][20][21]. erefore, all issues of hygiene demand the combination of proper knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) so that people can be knowledgeable about something, be convinced and practice it reasonably. ...
Article
Full-text available
Considerable fractions of the world’s diseases are communicable, of which over 60% are infectious. Knowledge, attitude, and practice of hygiene are very important to decrease these disease burdens especially in places like higher education institutions. This study is aimed at revealing the status and gaps on knowledge, attitude, and practice of hygiene among Kotebe Metropolitan University students. Alongside, morbidity records of the students’ clinic are reviewed. Sampled regular students who are boarding and who serve the students’ canteen are studied. The investigation applied a cross-sectional study design. A structured questionnaire is administered following a pretest, and the data collected are analyzed using “SPSS v.20.” The review on morbidity record showed that the leading infections so far are respiratory (47%), gastrointestinal (amoebiasis, giardiasis, and typhoid) (34%), and eye and skin infections (16%). Regarding the responses to the knowledge questions, 1451 (60.8%) were correct while 934 (39.2%) were incorrect. Concerning handwashing as knowledge question, significant difference ( p≈0.00 ) existed between genders. Over 50% of the respondents do think parasitic infections typically amoeba is acquired not due to the contaminated vegetables, but rather they assume that such vegetables trigger those parasites already lodging in their gut. Above 60% of the respondents agreed that sharing drinking cups as a sign of affection as unfavorable attitude. In relation to that, the students’ attitude highly varies by gender. However, the responses on hygiene practice enquiries appear to be promising. Further, the students do some practice while not having the desired level of knowledge on hygiene. Generally, there is a considerable gap in the knowledge, attitude, and practice of hygiene among students.
... Further in history, religions connected hygiene with cleanliness and conduct. In this respect understanding what hygiene meant in peoples' mind is crucial to bring desirable changes [20][21][22]. Therefore, all issues of hygiene demand the combination of proper knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) so that people can be knowledgeable about something, be convinced and practice it reasonably. ...
Article
Considerable fractions of the world's diseases are communicable of which over 60% are infectious. Knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene are very important to decrease these disease burdens especially in places like Higher Education Institutions. This study is aimed at revealing the status and gaps on knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene among Kotebe Metropolitan University students. Alongside, morbidity records of the students' clinic are reviewed. Sampled regular students who are boarding and who serves the students' canteen are studied. The investigation applied a cross-sectional study design. A structured questionnaire is administered following a pretest and the data collected is analyzed using "SPSS v.20". The review on morbidity record showed that the leading infections so far are respiratory (47%), gastro intestinal (Amoebiasis, Giardiasis, and Typhoid) (34%), and eye and skin infections (16%). Regarding the responses to the knowledge questions, 1451(60.8%) were correct while 934 (39.2%) were incorrect. Concerning hand washing as knowledge question, significant difference (p ≈ 0.00) existed between gender. Over 50% of the respondents do think parasitic infections typically amoeba is acquired not due to the contaminated vegetables, but rather they assume that such vegetables trigger those parasites already lodging in their gut. Above 60% of the respondents agreed that sharing drinking cups as a sign of affection as unfavorable attitude. In relation to that, the students' attitude highly varies by gender. However, the responses on hygiene practice enquiries appear to be promising. Further, the students do some practice while not having the desired level of knowledge on hygiene. Generally, there is a considerable gap in the knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene among students.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.