A cluster randomized controlled trial of a simplified 5-step handwashing technique versus a conventional 7-step handwashing technique among Chinese students with intellectual disabilities

Regina L.T. Lee, Cynthia Leung, Hong Chen, Paul H. Lee, Stephen W.H. Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Objective: To compare the effects of the simplified 5-step and the conventional 7-Step hand hygiene programme in a cluster randomized controlled trial among students with intellectual disabilities. Method: A total of 472 Chinese students with intellectual disabilities were randomized to either simplified 5-step or conventional 7-step hand hygiene programme. Assessments included handwashing technique, cleanliness and sick leave days. Results: Handwashing technique scores (g = 0.25, 95% CI [0.18, 0.32]) and hand cleanliness scores (g = 0.33, 95% CI [0.26, 0.4]) in intervention group were significantly higher than those scores in control group at 6th month post-intervention although there were significant increases in the scores within both groups. The mean number of sick leave days decreased between baseline and 10 month in both groups according to descriptive statistics. Conclusions: It is feasible and effective to adopt the simplified 5-step intervention as a standardized handwashing technique for the population group with intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1099
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • A cluster randomized controlled trial
  • children with intellectual disabilities
  • hand hygiene intervention
  • simplified 5-step handwashing technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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