Personal Protective Equipment-Related Problems Experienced by Healthcare Workers, Solutions, and Recommendations: A Qualitative Study

ÇAKAR V., Karadaǧ A., Bugan B., Kiliç H., Demir A. S.

Advances in Skin and Wound Care, vol.36, no.11, pp.1-9, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/asw.0000000000000059
  • Journal Name: Advances in Skin and Wound Care
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, PASCAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-9
  • Keywords: COVID-19, face mask, face shield, goggles, healthcare workers, personal protective equipment, qualitative study, skin
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


OBJECTIVE To understand the problems experienced by healthcare workers (HCWs) who used personal protective equipment (PPE) on their face during the COVID-19 pandemic, their interventions to prevent these problems, and their recommendations for improving the quality of PPE. METHODS This descriptive and qualitative study included HCWs (N = 29) from health institutions at different levels in Turkey. Researchers collected data using a semistructured data collection form (13 items) and in-depth individual interviews. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and qualitative inductive content analysis. RESULTS Of the 29 participants, 15 (51.7%) were women, and 18 (62.1%) were nurses. Participants' answers regarding problems related to PPE use were grouped into four main categories, answers regarding the prevention of these problems were grouped into three main categories, and answers regarding improving the quality of PPE were grouped into three main categories. Skin concerns were the most commonly reported problems related to PPE, and interventions to prevent these problems primarily related to skin protection and care. Recommendations to improve the quality of PPE focused on using materials for masks and face shields that reduce pressure and friction; participants also suggested that face shields be produced in sterile and disposable packages. CONCLUSIONS This research indicates that HCWs need support and they are able to create individual solutions for the problems with PPE that they experience. Skin-friendly PPE that ensures the safety and comfort of HCWs should be produced, and hospitals should develop policies for institutional use to prevent PPE injury.