Discomfort and exertion associated with prolonged wear of respiratory protection in a health care setting

Brian V. Shenal, Lewis J. Radonovich, Jing Cheng, Michael Hodgson, Bradley S. Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The nature of discomfort and level of exertion associated with wearing respiratory protection in the health care workplace are not well understood. Although a few studies have assessed these topics in a laboratory setting, little is known about the magnitude of discomfort and the level of exertion experienced by workers while they deliver health care to patients for prolonged periods. The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of discomfort and level of exertion experienced by health care workers while wearing respiratory protection for periods up to 8 hr when performing their typical occupational duties. This project was a multiple cross-over field trial of 27 health care workers, aged 24-65, performing their typical, hospital-based occupational duties. Each participant served as his/her own control and wore one of seven respirators or a medical mask for 8 hr (or as long as tolerable) with interposed doffing periods every 2 hr. Self-perceived discomfort and exertion were quantified before each doffing: self-perceived level of discomfort using a visual analog scale, and self-perceived level of exertion using a Borg scale. Overall, and as would be expected, discomfort increased over time with continual respirator use over an 8-hr period. Interestingly, exertion increased only marginally over the same time period. The relatively low level of exertion associated with eight respiratory protective devices, including models commonly used in the U.S. health care workplace, is not likely to substantially influence workers tolerability or occupational productivity. However, the magnitude of discomfort does appear to increase significantly over time with prolonged wear. These results suggest that respirator-related discomfort, but not exertion, negatively influences respirator tolerance over prolonged periods. Discomfort may also interfere with the occupational duties of workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mechanical Ventilators
Delivery of Health Care
Workplace
Respiratory Protective Devices
Masks
Visual Analog Scale
Cross-Over Studies

Keywords

  • discomfort
  • exertion
  • health care
  • respirator
  • tolerance
  • workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Discomfort and exertion associated with prolonged wear of respiratory protection in a health care setting. / Shenal, Brian V.; Radonovich, Lewis J.; Cheng, Jing; Hodgson, Michael; Bender, Bradley S.

In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Vol. 9, No. 1, 01.01.2012, p. 59-64.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shenal, Brian V. ; Radonovich, Lewis J. ; Cheng, Jing ; Hodgson, Michael ; Bender, Bradley S. / Discomfort and exertion associated with prolonged wear of respiratory protection in a health care setting. In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 2012 ; Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 59-64.
@article{b8745d5d35dd4b3da02332c6bef7356a,
title = "Discomfort and exertion associated with prolonged wear of respiratory protection in a health care setting",
abstract = "The nature of discomfort and level of exertion associated with wearing respiratory protection in the health care workplace are not well understood. Although a few studies have assessed these topics in a laboratory setting, little is known about the magnitude of discomfort and the level of exertion experienced by workers while they deliver health care to patients for prolonged periods. The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of discomfort and level of exertion experienced by health care workers while wearing respiratory protection for periods up to 8 hr when performing their typical occupational duties. This project was a multiple cross-over field trial of 27 health care workers, aged 24-65, performing their typical, hospital-based occupational duties. Each participant served as his/her own control and wore one of seven respirators or a medical mask for 8 hr (or as long as tolerable) with interposed doffing periods every 2 hr. Self-perceived discomfort and exertion were quantified before each doffing: self-perceived level of discomfort using a visual analog scale, and self-perceived level of exertion using a Borg scale. Overall, and as would be expected, discomfort increased over time with continual respirator use over an 8-hr period. Interestingly, exertion increased only marginally over the same time period. The relatively low level of exertion associated with eight respiratory protective devices, including models commonly used in the U.S. health care workplace, is not likely to substantially influence workers tolerability or occupational productivity. However, the magnitude of discomfort does appear to increase significantly over time with prolonged wear. These results suggest that respirator-related discomfort, but not exertion, negatively influences respirator tolerance over prolonged periods. Discomfort may also interfere with the occupational duties of workers.",
keywords = "discomfort, exertion, health care, respirator, tolerance, workers",
author = "Shenal, {Brian V.} and Radonovich, {Lewis J.} and Jing Cheng and Michael Hodgson and Bender, {Bradley S.}",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/15459624.2012.635133",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
pages = "59--64",
journal = "Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene",
issn = "1545-9624",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Discomfort and exertion associated with prolonged wear of respiratory protection in a health care setting

AU - Shenal, Brian V.

AU - Radonovich, Lewis J.

AU - Cheng, Jing

AU - Hodgson, Michael

AU - Bender, Bradley S.

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - The nature of discomfort and level of exertion associated with wearing respiratory protection in the health care workplace are not well understood. Although a few studies have assessed these topics in a laboratory setting, little is known about the magnitude of discomfort and the level of exertion experienced by workers while they deliver health care to patients for prolonged periods. The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of discomfort and level of exertion experienced by health care workers while wearing respiratory protection for periods up to 8 hr when performing their typical occupational duties. This project was a multiple cross-over field trial of 27 health care workers, aged 24-65, performing their typical, hospital-based occupational duties. Each participant served as his/her own control and wore one of seven respirators or a medical mask for 8 hr (or as long as tolerable) with interposed doffing periods every 2 hr. Self-perceived discomfort and exertion were quantified before each doffing: self-perceived level of discomfort using a visual analog scale, and self-perceived level of exertion using a Borg scale. Overall, and as would be expected, discomfort increased over time with continual respirator use over an 8-hr period. Interestingly, exertion increased only marginally over the same time period. The relatively low level of exertion associated with eight respiratory protective devices, including models commonly used in the U.S. health care workplace, is not likely to substantially influence workers tolerability or occupational productivity. However, the magnitude of discomfort does appear to increase significantly over time with prolonged wear. These results suggest that respirator-related discomfort, but not exertion, negatively influences respirator tolerance over prolonged periods. Discomfort may also interfere with the occupational duties of workers.

AB - The nature of discomfort and level of exertion associated with wearing respiratory protection in the health care workplace are not well understood. Although a few studies have assessed these topics in a laboratory setting, little is known about the magnitude of discomfort and the level of exertion experienced by workers while they deliver health care to patients for prolonged periods. The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of discomfort and level of exertion experienced by health care workers while wearing respiratory protection for periods up to 8 hr when performing their typical occupational duties. This project was a multiple cross-over field trial of 27 health care workers, aged 24-65, performing their typical, hospital-based occupational duties. Each participant served as his/her own control and wore one of seven respirators or a medical mask for 8 hr (or as long as tolerable) with interposed doffing periods every 2 hr. Self-perceived discomfort and exertion were quantified before each doffing: self-perceived level of discomfort using a visual analog scale, and self-perceived level of exertion using a Borg scale. Overall, and as would be expected, discomfort increased over time with continual respirator use over an 8-hr period. Interestingly, exertion increased only marginally over the same time period. The relatively low level of exertion associated with eight respiratory protective devices, including models commonly used in the U.S. health care workplace, is not likely to substantially influence workers tolerability or occupational productivity. However, the magnitude of discomfort does appear to increase significantly over time with prolonged wear. These results suggest that respirator-related discomfort, but not exertion, negatively influences respirator tolerance over prolonged periods. Discomfort may also interfere with the occupational duties of workers.

KW - discomfort

KW - exertion

KW - health care

KW - respirator

KW - tolerance

KW - workers

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84857733215&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84857733215&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/15459624.2012.635133

DO - 10.1080/15459624.2012.635133

M3 - Article

C2 - 22168256

AN - SCOPUS:84857733215

VL - 9

SP - 59

EP - 64

JO - Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

JF - Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

SN - 1545-9624

IS - 1

ER -