Document Type


Publication details

van de Mortel, TF 2009, 'Development of a questionnaire to assess health care students’ hand hygiene knowledge, beliefs and practices', Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 9-16.

The abstract and pdf of the published article reprinted in ePublications@SCU with permission of the AJAN

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Peer Reviewed




To determine the reliability and validity of a hand hygiene questionnaire (HHQ) developed to examine health care students’ hand hygiene knowledge, beliefs and practices.


Pilot testing of the HHQ


Undergraduate students of nursing undergoing university education


The HHQ was administered to 14 student nurse volunteers in the final year of their undergraduate degree and to another 45 volunteers following revision.

Main outcome measures

Main outcomes measures were test‑retest coefficients, Cronbach’s alpha values and mean inter‑item correlations of the scale items.


The face validity of the HHQ was high. Cronbach’s alpha values of 0.80, 0.74 and 0.77 were obtained for the Hand Hygiene Beliefs scale (HBS), the Hand Hygiene Practices Inventory (HHPI), and the Hand Hygiene Importance Scale (HIS) following removal of items with low item‑to‑total correlations or zero variance. The mean item‑to‑total correlations of the HBS, HHPI and IS were 0.37, 0.33, and 0.61 respectively. The two‑week test‑retest coefficients for each scale were 0.85, 0.79 and 0.89 respectively. Socially desirable responding was identified in participants’ responses to the HBS using the 11‑item short form of the Marlowe‑Crowne Social Desirability scale.


The HHQ demonstrated adequate reliability and validity and should be further tested on a wider sample of health care students.

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