Does music impact amount of time spent on hand hygiene?

A study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, examined the effect of a music-based intervention on hand disinfection duration.

Researchers recorded surgical hand disinfections performed by 236 healthcare workers on video. The workers were divided into an intervention group and control group. The intervention group could hear background music as they disinfected their hands.

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The study shows that the workers washed their hands for more than two minutes at a time. The background music did not increase the time spent on scrubbing.

However, the background music did reduce the proportion of very short scrub times — less than 90 seconds — from 17 percent to 9 percent.

Additionally, these four factors increased scrub time among workers:

•    Female sex
•    Lower staff seniority
•    Scrubbing hands in groups
•    Use of a stopwatch

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