Anxiety during respirator use: comparison of two respirator types.
Wu-S; Harber-P; Yun-D; Bansal-S; Li-Y; Santiago-S
J Occup Environ Hyg 2011 Mar; 8(3):123-128
Anxiety may interfere with proper respirator use. This study directly compares the effect of two types of respirators - elastomeric half-face mask with dual-cartridges (HFM) and N95 filtering facepiece - on anxiety levels. Twelve volunteers with normal or mildly impaired respiratory conditions performed a series of simulated work tasks using the HFM and N95 on different days. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) measured state anxiety (SA) before and during respirator use. STAI also measured trait anxiety (TA), a stable personal characteristic. The effect of the respirator was measured as the difference between SA pre-use and during use. Work with HFM was associated with an increase in SA (2.92 units, p<.01), whereas work with the N95 had no observed effect. Anxiety should be considered in the selection of the best respirator for a user. Impact on anxiety should be considered for respirator design and certification purposes, particularly if the device is to be widely used in workplace and community settings.
Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Face-masks; Emotional-stress; Elastic-properties; Task-performance; Behavioral-testing; Personality-traits; Equipment-design;
Author Keywords: anxiety; personal protective equipment; respirator
Philip Harber, UCLA Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 10880 Wilshire, #1800, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
University of California, Los Angeles