'Handshake-free zones' may be coming to health care settings

May 18, 2014
'Handshake-free zones' may be coming to health care settings

(HealthDay)—Regulations to restrict handshakes in the health care setting, along with more robust hand hygiene programs, may help limit the spread of disease, according to a viewpoint published online May 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Mark Sklansky, M.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues acknowledge that the handshake has a profound cultural role and holds interpersonal significance, as well as commercial importance. While providers' handshakes with patients can be perceived as signs of compassion, they can also spread germs.

The authors propose that lessons from smoking bans should be applied to handshakes. Given that warnings of smoking's harms and subsequent bans were able to cut a deeply entrenched habit, the same may be possible with handshakes. "Handshake-free zones" should be established along with educational programs and signage. A replacement gesture may need to be adopted also.

"Removing the handshake from the setting may ultimately become recognized as an important way to protect the health of patients and caregivers, rather than as a personal insult to whoever refuses another's hand," the authors write.

Explore further: Graduation contamination: Just how many germs are you spreading with a handshake?

More information: Full Text

Related Stories

Graduation contamination: Just how many germs are you spreading with a handshake?

May 16, 2011
Graduations are a celebration of achievement and growth, but could all the pomp and circumstance increase your risk of exposure to harmful bacteria? A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Smoking bans linked to improvement in tobacco use

December 30, 2013
(HealthDay)—Smoking bans in the home and city/town are significantly associated with smoking reduction and making a quit attempt, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in Preventive Medicine.

Non-smoking hotel rooms still expose occupants to tobacco smoke

May 13, 2013
Non-smokers should give hotels that allow smoking in certain rooms a wide berth, say the authors, and instead choose completely smoke free hotels.

Can a simple handshake predict cancer survival rates?

February 26, 2014
New acquaintances are often judged by their handshake. Research has now recognized the simple squeeze as an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life among critical care patients.

Smoking bans cut premature births and childhood asthma attacks

March 27, 2014
Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 per cent, new research shows.

Docs, patients have different attitudes toward end-of-life care

April 27, 2014
(HealthDay)—Attitudes toward end-of-life resource allocation differ for patients with cancer and their caregivers and for physicians, according to a study published online April 24 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Recommended for you

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.