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Assessment of Hand Hygiene Practices of University Students in Vietnam Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Brief Report

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2021

Minh Cuong Duong*
School of Population Health, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, Australia
Hong Trang Nguyen
Faculty of Nursing, Phenikaa University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Bich Thuy Duong
Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Minh Thuy Vu
Faculty of Nursing, Phenikaa University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Corresponding author: Minh Cuong Duong, Email:



Effective handwashing practices help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study examined the knowledge, frequency, and characteristics of handwashing practices among Vietnamese university students.


An analytic cross-sectional study was conducted on all students enrolling at Phenikaa University in Vietnam. A self-developed questionnaire was used to collect information on the participants’ knowledge regarding the effectiveness of handwashing as a COVID-19 preventive measure, the moments for hand hygiene, the most appropriate practices in different situations, and frequency.


Among 728 study participants, 460 (63.2%) were from health-related faculties. Almost (97.9%; 713/728) all participants knew that handwashing could protect against the spread of infection, but less than half performed handwashing often in a normal day (47.4%; 345/728), after sneezing or coughing (48.9%; 356/728), and 7.4% (54/728) only washed hands when hands are visibly dirty. Health students used alcohol-based handrub in all situations, including those requiring handwashing with water and soap (P < 0.05).


The levels of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of handwashing among study participants are high, but actual practices of handwashing are suboptimal. It is crucial to improve community education to help reinforce correct hand hygiene behaviors, including when to wash hands and which method should be used.

Brief Report
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.

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