Article | . Vol. 19, Issue. 3
Relationship between hand hygiene beliefs and nail hygiene behaviors among dental workers in South Korea

Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School, Yonsei University1
Department of Dental Hygiene, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine2
Department of Dental Hygiene, U1 University3

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate nail hygiene behaviors and to identify the relationship between hand hygiene beliefs and nail hygiene behaviors among dental hygienists, dental’s aide and dental coordinator in South Korea. Methods: The subjects were 291 dental workers including dental hygienists, dental assistant and dental coordinator working full-time at dental clinics, dental hospitals, general dental hospitals and dental university hospitals in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi-do. The questionnaire consisted of a total 35 items, including 4 items on general characteristics, 25 items on hand hygiene, 2 items on “nail art” experience, and 4 items on nail hygiene behaviors. The collected data were analyzed using an independent t-test, one-way ANOVA, chi-square test, correlation analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis, where α<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The scores of behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, control beliefs and nail hygiene behaviors were 5.15±0.58, 5.26±0.81, 3.69±0.96 and 5.03±0.98, respectively. Statistically significant relationships were detected in terms of participants’ clinical experiences with respect to behavioral and normative beliefs (p<0.05 for all three belief categories). Participants working in general dental hospitals and dental university hospitals demonstrated the highest scores for behavioral, normative and control beliefs (p<0.05). Participants working in dental clinics reported the highest “nail art” experience rates in the last two years (45.5%) and at the time of the survey (15.7%; p<0.05). Nail hygiene behaviors were more likely to be observed in individuals with stronger behavioral and stronger normative beliefs (p<0.05). Conclusions: More specific infection control guidelines for “nail art” among dental workers should be established and promoted, so that both patients and dental workers can interact in a safe environment.

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