The Study

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Why does Essity have a study?

While we know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from the results of outside studies that proper handwashing is directly linked to reducing illness, we felt it was vital that our hand hygiene education program be evaluated by a third-party entity to ensure that our program is effective as a means to reduce illness-related absences in preschool-aged children, and to hopefully create that we have measurable and actionable results to share for the future. This is why we partnered with evaluators from the Temple University College of Public Health.

About the Study

Essity teamed up with the School District of Philadelphia and Temple University to initiate a study to measure the success of Essity’s handwashing program. The study was  conducted by Heather M. Murphy, Ph.D., P.Eng and Deirdre Dingman, DrPH, MPH, CHES with support from Temple Graduate students.

During the study we evaluated children at two similar demographic Pre-K schools and provided handwashing education to one of the schools. Both schools were then evaluated, to see if the program made a difference in the educated children’s handwashing habits. The control school was then given the education and evaluated to conclude the study.


The study findings revealed that nearly 45% of the students participating in the study increased the quality of their handwashing. Temple evaluators observed students and scoring was applied to each child’s handwashing activity (following handwashing steps in order, scrubbing their hands for 20 seconds, drying their hands) over a period of time.

increase in handwashing quality

Meet The Experts

Heather M. Murphy, Ph.D., P.Eng

Heather M. Murphy, Ph.D., P.Eng

Sanitation Evaluator
Deirdre Dingman, DrPH, MPH, CHES

Deirdre Dingman, DrPH, MPH, CHES

Principal Investigator

“The results of our study show that handwashing education makes a difference among young children. The increase in quality of handwashing among nearly 1 in 2 students was a very good result, and we saw that hand washing behavior changed after the educational activities.”

Deirdre Dingman, DRPH, MPH, CHES, Temple University College of Public Health