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Evaluation of the perception and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare workers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Grant number: 18/17368-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal researcher:Ana Marcia de Sá Guimarães
Grantee:Kerstin Muner
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 19) is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) that have been spreading around the world with alarming numbers of cases and deaths. Because it is a new disease, with respiratory transmission, which vaccines, treatments, and effective prophylactic measures are not available, the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to reduce the risk of healthcare workers infection. Unfortunately, many healthcare workers have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, with some cases progressing to death. Several factors can be associated with the number of cases, including shortage of materials and lack of training in the use and disposal of PPEs. Thus, the aim of this project is to assess the perception, use, maintenance, and disposal of PPEs for healthcare workers, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be achieved by using structured questionnaires, available on a virtual training platform on the use of PPE, created at the beginning of the epidemic in Brazil. This virtual platform, called PPEHealth (EPISaúde in Portuguese) ( was created by biosafety experts, to provide quality information, on the correct use, maintenance, and disposal of PPEs for healthcare workers, by texts, videos, and infographics. In addition to providing the voluntary questionnaire, the site also has a session for questions about doffing and dumping PPEs, and a session where these professionals can leave testimonials related to what they have been experiencing during the pandemic. Approximately 160 thousand people have already accessed the site, with more than 1000 questionnaires collected. Based on the answers, questions, and testimonies available in the questionnaires, this study aims to understand the risk situation of Brazilian healthcare workers and to identify possible factors associated with the observed healthcare workers infection rates. (AU)

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