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J Occup Health. 2006 Jan;48(1):35-43.

Glove selection as personal protective equipment and occupational dermatitis among Japanese midwives.

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Department of Nursing Administration, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Japan.


This study was conducted to 1) evaluate the personal selection and use of protective gloves against bloodborne pathogens and management of glove selection in the workplace, 2) survey the experience with occupational dermatitis and other allergic symptoms, 3) explore the relationships between occupational dermatitis experience and glove use, and 4) determine the impact of glove selection upon occupational dermatitis among midwives. Subjects were 1,150 midwives working in Japan. Participants were selected from the members of Japanese Nursing Association and 835 responded to the survey. More than 30% of respondents wore gloves only when clients had an infectious disease, 41% reported experience of occupational dermatitis, 26% associated the dermatitis with medical glove use, and 2% had a diagnosis of latex allergy. Demographic variables that were significantly associated with occupational dermatitis included history of allergic symptoms other than due to occupational exposure, age, tenure and type of working institution. Using latex gloves during administering enema, shaving, changing pads, washing perineum, receiving newborns, suctioning, and handling waste significantly increased the risk of occupational dermatitis experience compared to not using gloves. Logistic regression analysis with backward stepwise elimination revealed glove selection management, such as availability of alternative glove types, using latex gloves for washing perineum, and using latex gloves for handling waste were significant predictors of occupational dermatitis. Occupational dermatitis is a significant issue and glove use as personal protective equipment is not standardized. Some occupational dermatitis may be preventable by managing appropriate glove selection.

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