Behaviors and attitudes towards Facial Protective Equipment (FPE) use among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) in the ResPECT study: Impact of study participation and a compliance education effort
Background: Reasons for HCP non-compliance with FPE are complicated and may be related to their attitudes and beliefs. During the 2012-13 influenza season, we found that acceptance of FPE use improved among a cohort of study participants. Our aim is to evaluate if changes in attitudes and behavior were sustained and/or impacted further by participating the subsequent season; and the impact of an educational campaign at one of the seven study sites across the United States.
Methods: ResPECT is a cluster randomized clinical trial designed to compare the effectiveness of medical masks and N95 respirators for preventing acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) in outpatient HCP. During a 12-week peak period of influenza activity, participants wear FPE when within 6 ft. of patients with ARI. Each season, all participants complete pre- and post-study surveys that include questions regarding attitudes and behaviors towards each FPE (regardless of study assignment). For the 2013-14 influenza season, at the Denver VA site, posters reminding staff to wear FPE were placed at vital sign stations, triage areas, nurse stations, staff offices and on electronic announcement boards.
Results: Of the 1388 participants in 2013-14, 606 (44%) also participated in 2012-13; the results are based on this subgroup. Based on pre- to post- survey analysis, during the 2012-13 season, the acceptance for FPE use significantly increased (p < 0.0001), was sustained during the off-study period (between the two seasons), but did not improve further during the 2013-14 season (figure 1). During both study seasons, the most and least cited reasons “to wear FPE” were “to avoid getting respiratory infection” and “required to wear by supervisor/policy”, respectively (figure 2). The most cited reason “not to wear FPE” was “uncomfortable/difficulty breathing” (figure 3). The educational campaign at the Denver VA did not affect the reported behaviors and attitudes of HCP towards wearing FPE.
Conclusion: The 2-year study participation did not significantly change HCP attitudes and behaviors, beyond what was observed after the first year. Not all changes were sustained during the off-season period. A poster based educational campaign had no impact on attitudes and behaviors towards FPE use.
M. Zorn, None
M. Bessesen, None
C. Gibert, None
A. C. Nyquist, None
T. M. Perl, None
C. S. Price, None
L. Radonovich, None
M. S. Simberkoff, None
M. C. Rodriguez-Barradas, None