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Pattern and Perception of Impact of Wearing Face Masks on Communication Among Health Care Workers During COVID-19 pandemic: An Observational Study.

  • Kalsotra, Gopika1
  • Fayaz, Inna1
  • Saraf, Aditya1
  • Kalsotra, Parmod1
  • 1 Department of ENT and HNS, SMGS Hospital, GMC Jammu, Jammu, India. , (India)
Published Article
Indian journal of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery : official publication of the Association of Otolaryngologists of India
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2024
DOI: 10.1007/s12070-023-04369-x
PMID: 38566658


To assess the impact of wearing masks (KN95, surgical, cloth mask) due to COVID-19 pandemic on interpersonal communication among health care workers and with patients. The present observational study was conducted in tertiary care centre and also included participants from various other health care facilities from all over India over a period of one year from March 2022 to March 2023. 203 health care workers consented to participate in the study. The study was done as an online survey using the questionnaire which was adapted into a Google form consisting of a 15 closed set questions. Participants rated the question using a binary forced choice as either YES or NO. The mean age of participants consenting to the study was 30.9 ± 6.3 SD years,with male predominance (%). Among the choice of use of face mask, 76.35% used surgical mask, 14.77% used KN95 and 8.86% used cloth masks. 15 questions were divided in 5 categories; analysis showed that majority of questions had an affirmative "yes" response. This results of this study indicated that the sudden change in the existing communication situation due to use of face masks in the clinical setup affected interpersonal communication among healthcare workers and with patients, which may also have a bearing on both patient and clinician well being and could have a significant economic impact on health care systems globally. These results provide information about the clinical strain introduced from use of face masks in healthcare settings. Overall, results showed that in healthcare settings, there is increased cognitive load and listening effort for patients and health care providers, as well as changes in clinical efficiency for providers when utilizing masks. These effects are often greater with hearing loss. © Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2023. Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

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