OBJECTIVE: To identify university students' hygiene behaviour using a hygiene behaviour inventory in a Turkish sample. METHODS: The cross-sectional study was conducted with 353 randomly selected university students aged 17-24 years in Kocaeli, Turkey. Data were collected in December 2009 using a socio-demographic form and the Turkish version of the Hygiene Behaviour Inventory-23. SPSS 15 was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: The mean score was 3.08 +/- 0.94; ranging from 1.91 +/- 0.85 to 3.77 +/- 0.52. Of the students, 290 (82.2%) always washed their hands when soap was available; 266 (75.4%) had cleaned their toilets three times or more in the preceding month; 260 (73.7%) always washed their hands after touching a pet or some animal; 260 (73.7%) always washed their hand before preparing food; 256 (72.5%) always washed fruits and vegetables before eating them; 227 (64.3%) always covered the seat with paper while using a public toilet; 244 (69.1%) had always cleaned their bathroom at home three times or more in the preceding month; and 183 (51.8%) of the students always washed their hands before eating food with their hands. CONCLUSIONS: Community-based awareness and education plans must initiated to improve regular hygiene practices at the level of university students in Turkey.
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