'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

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

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.