A Novel Questionnaire to Ergonomically Assess Respirators among Health Care Staff: Development and Validation


1 School of Health, Safety and Environment, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Chronic Respiratory Diseases Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Health care workers are at a high risk of exposure to infectious diseases spread by airborne transmission. N95 respirators are the most common respirators used in the health care system and negligence in using them may cause health problems. Hence, more emphasis should be on ergonomic aspects of this mask. This study aimed to develop a tool for ergonomic evaluation of these respirators. Materials and Methods: After reviewing previous studies and employees' problems in the use of the N95 respirators, 50 questionnaires were designed and their validity was assessed. Then, the questionnaire was completed by 290 staff members of Masih Daneshvari Hospital and its internal consistency and reproducibility were investigated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient and testretest method, respectively. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess its consistency and internal consistency (construct validity). Results: With the confirmation of the face and content validities, internal consistency (0.89) calculated by the Cronbach's alpha coefficient and reproducibility of the questionnaire (0.997; p <0.001) assessed by using the ICC Index, were approved. Following examining internal consistency and stability, the questionnaire convergent construct validity was also confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis. Conclusion: The questionnaire contained 42 items and it is beneficial to use it in the health care system to evaluate the ergonomic problems of the respirators and to have optimal choice in this respect. Also, it can be used in the promotion of the staffs' behavior in wearing these respirators when necessary.