Behavioural interventions to promote workers’ use of respiratory protective equipment: no evidence that they have much effect

Added March 24, 2020

Citation: Luong Thanh BY, Laopaiboon M, Koh D, Sakunkoo P, Moe H. Behavioural interventions to promote workers’ use of respiratory protective equipment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016; (12): CD010157

What is this? Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is worn by a variety of workers to protect them from hazards they encounter in their workplace. However, RPE can only be effective if worn properly, removed safely and maintained regularly. Behavioural interventions might be used to help with this and evidence on their effects may provide useful information for COVID-19.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies of behavioural interventions to promote RPE use by workers. They did not restrict by date, type or language of publication and did their searches in August 2016. They identified 8 randomized trials and 6 controlled before-and-after studies (total: 2052 participants) in a wide range of settings, with 4 studies in healthcare.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: There is very low quality evidence that education and training to promote workers’ use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) do not have a considerable effect on the frequency or correctness of their use of RPE.

What’s uncertain: There were no studies on incentives or organization-level interventions.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.