Use of Electronic Loggers to Measure Changes in the Rates of Hand Washing with Soap in Low-Income Urban Households in India

Citation: Wright RL, Zillmer R, Biran A, Hall P, Sidibe M (2015) Use of Electronic Loggers to Measure Changes in the Rates of Hand Washing with Soap in Low-Income Urban Households in India. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0131187. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131187
Published: June 23, 2015

Abstract
hand washingWe evaluated the utility of electronic loggers to measure the effects of a simple intervention designed to influence the rates of hand washing with soap within enclosed toilets and bathrooms in low-income urban households in Kerala, India. 58 households were given three items with embedded electronic loggers for a period of 2-5 days. Two logged soaps tracked hand and body washing in the bathroom. The third logged item was a water vessel used for flushing the toilet and for post-defecation anal cleansing; this served as a marker of toilet use. In addition, 28 households in a Soap by toilet arm were given an additional logged soap, to be kept by the toilet, and used for hand washing. Compared with the Soap in bathroom arm, the loggers in the Soap by toilet households recorded 73% greater daily use of soaps designated for hand washing (t(36)=2.92, p<0.01) and 172% greater use within 2 minutes of the use of the water vessel (t(36)=3.51, p = 0.001). We conclude that the loggers were capable of detecting changes in the rates of hand washing with soap and changes in hand washing with soap after use of the toilet. Further adoption of logger technologies would enable more insightful studies of hand washing within urban environments.

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