Sufficient personal protective equipment training can reduce COVID-19 related symptoms in healthcare workers: A prospective cohort study.

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Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Clinical report
Length: 541 words

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Keywords COVID-19; Healthcare personnel; Hospital; Home care services; Nursing; Personal protective equipment; Residential facilities Abstract Background The association between inadequate personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in frontline healthcare workers has been proven. However, frontline healthcare workers with an adequate supply of personal protective equipment still showed an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Research on the use of personal protective equipment could provide insight into handling present and future pandemics. Objectives This study aims to investigate the impact of the availability, training and correct selection of personal protective equipment on the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or positive suspect cases in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium. Design This was a prospective cohort study involving Belgian healthcare workers: nurses, nursing aides, and midwives working in hospitals, home care services, and residential care services. Methods Respondents were invited from May to July 2020 (period 1) followed by a second time in October 2020 (period 2) to complete a digital survey on personal protective equipment availability, training, personal protective equipment selection, screening ability, COVID-19 testing and status, and symptoms corresponding with the COVID-19 suspect case definition. The main outcome was a composite of COVID-19 status change (from negative to positive) during the study or a positive suspect case definition in period 2. Results Full data were available for 617 participants. The majority of respondents were nurses (93%) employed in a hospital (83%). In total, 379 respondents provided frontline care for COVID-19 patients (61%) and were questioned on personal protective equipment availability and personal protective equipment selection. Nurses were more likely to select the correct personal protective equipment compared with nursing aides and midwives. Respondents working in residential care settings were least likely to choose personal protective equipment correctly. Of all healthcare workers, 10% tested positive for COVID-19 during the course of the study and a composite outcome was reached in 54% of all respondents. Working experience and sufficient personal protective equipment training showed an inverse relation with the composite outcome. The relationship between personal protective equipment availability and the composite outcome was fully mediated by personal protective equipment training (-0.105 [95% confidence interval -0.211 -- -0.020]). Conclusions Proper training in personal protective equipment usage is critical to reduce the risk of COVID infection in healthcare workers. During a pandemic, rapid dissemination of video guidelines could improve personal protective equipment knowledge in practitioners. Tweetable abstract: Proper training in personal protective equipment usage is critical to reduce the risk of COVID infection in healthcare workers. Author Affiliation: (a) Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), Department of Nursing and Midwifery Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium (b) Institute of Health and Society, Institut de Recherche Santé & Société (IRSS), Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (c) Health Economics, Hospital Management and Nursing Research Dept, School of Public Health, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (d) Department of emergency medicine, Antwerp University Hospital, University of Antwerp, Belgium * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 21 May 2021; Revised 29 October 2021; Accepted 1 November 2021 (footnote)1 These authors have contributed equally to this work and share first authorship. Byline: Filip Haegdorens [filip.haegdorens@uantwerpen.be] (a,1,*), Erik Franck (a,1), Pierre Smith (b), Arnaud Bruyneel (c), Koenraad G. Monsieurs (d), Peter Van Bogaert (a)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A689867775