Design considerations for protective mask development: A remote mask usability evaluation

Alison Cloet, Linsey Griffin, Minji Yu, William Durfee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The design of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) continues to pose usability concerns for healthcare workers, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to develop a holistic model to guide mask design improvement. Dental students (n = 38) with experience wearing N95 FFRs participated in a randomized wear trial of three alternative protective masks. A mixed methods survey was used to examine usability of individual mask design components, the relationship of facial/head area to mask features, and overall mask design. Survey results indicated MNmask v1 demonstrated higher usability in seal confidence (M = 3.46), while MNmask v2 performed higher in satisfactory fit (M = 3.50). Design components of nose wire and head/neck bands were the most problematic, while conditions of skin irritation and tight/loose fit created an unfavorable wear experience. To consider healthcare workers’ needs in improving the usability of protective masks, a model is presented to consider characteristics of fit, comfort, material, and design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103751
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume102
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [grant UL1TR002494 ]; and the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering and Medicine . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Healthcare workers
  • Holistic mask design approach
  • Mask design improvement
  • N95 filtering facepiece respirators
  • Remote usability

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

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