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Title: Headaches and the N95 face-mask amongst healthcare providers
Authors: Lim, E.C.H. 
Seet, R.C.S. 
Lee, K.-H. 
Wilder-Smith, E.P.V. 
Chuah, B.Y.S.
Ong, B.K.C. 
Keywords: Frequency
Risk factors
Issue Date: Mar-2006
Citation: Lim, E.C.H., Seet, R.C.S., Lee, K.-H., Wilder-Smith, E.P.V., Chuah, B.Y.S., Ong, B.K.C. (2006-03). Headaches and the N95 face-mask amongst healthcare providers. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 113 (3) : 199-202. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: During the 2003 severe acute respiratory distress syndrome epidemic, healthcare workers mandatorily wore the protective N95 face-mask. Methods: We administered a survey to healthcare workers to determine risk factors associated with development of headaches (frequency, headache subtypes and duration of face-mask wear) and the impact of headaches (sick days, headache frequency and use of abortive/preventive headache medications). Results: In the survey, 212 (47 male, 165 female) healthcare workers of mean age 31 years (range, 21-58) participated. Of the 79 (37.3%) respondents who reported face-mask-associated headaches, 26 (32.9%) reported headache frequency exceeding six times per month. Six (7.6%) had taken sick leave from March 2003 to June 2004 (mean 2 days; range 1-4 days) and 47 (59.5%) required use of abortive analgesics because of headache. Four (2.1%) took preventive medications for headaches during this period. Multivariate logistic regression showed that pre-existing headaches [P = 0.041, OR = 1.97 (95% CI 1.03-3.77)] and continuous use of the N95 face-mask exceeding 4 h [P = 0.053, OR = 1.85 (95% CI 0.99-3.43)] were associated with development of headaches. Conclusions: Healthcare providers may develop headaches following the use of the N95 face-mask. Shorter duration of face-mask wear may reduce the frequency and severity of these headaches. © 2006 Blackwell Munksgaard.
Source Title: Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
ISSN: 00016314
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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