In an earlier study in Karachi, Pakistan, households that received free soap and handwashing promotion for 9 months reported 53% less diarrhea than controls. Eighteen months after the intervention ended, these households were enrolled in a follow-up study to assess sustainability of handwashing behavior. Upon re-enrollment, mothers in households originally assigned to the intervention were 1.5 times more likely to have a place with soap and water to wash hands (79% versus 53%, P = 0.001) and when asked to wash hands were 2.2 times more likely to rub their hands together at least three times (50% versus 23%, P = 0.002) compared with controls. In the ensuing 14 months, former intervention households reported a similar proportion of person-days with diarrhea (1.59% versus 1.88%, P = 0.66) as controls. Although intervention households showed better handwashing technique after 2 years without intervention, their soap purchases and diarrhea experience was not significantly different from controls.
Luby SP, Agboatwalla M, Bowen A, Kenah E, Sharker Y, Hoekstra RM. (2009). Difficulties in maintaining improved handwashing behavior, Karachi, Pakistan. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 81(1)