Due to the important role of police during COVID-19 pandemics and lack of previous studies on the impact of personal protective equipment (PPE) in reduction of COVID-19 infection among police officers, we aimed to investigate the role of using PPE in prevention of COVID-19 infection among Iranian police personnel.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted in Tehran, Iran during January 2021 to November 2022. The study sample consisted of police personnel who were active in field operations. Demographics (age, height, weight, gender, marital status, number of children and underlying diseases) and job characteristics such as frequency and type of operations, involvement of colleagues with COVID-19, and COVID-19 infection history, using PPE, types of used PPE (mask, face shield, gloves, etc), protective strategies (such as social distancing) and COVID-19 vaccination were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed with IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 25.
Totally, 340 participants were analyzed (33.54±9.74 years old, 91.2% males), of whom, 150 participants (44.1%) reported at least one episode of confirmed COVID-19 infection. The most common component of PPE used both during operations and daily life was face mask (44.7% and 75%, respectively). The most popular measure with higher adherence compared to others was social distancing with 70% popularity and an adherence score of 5.85±3.74. Three hundred subjects (88.2%) had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Among PPE items, using face mask, washing hands with soap, social distancing and vaccination were significantly different between patients with and without prior COVID-19 infection (p>0.05).
The findings showed that use of PPE is significantly efficacious in reduction of COVID-19 infection among police officers. Therefore, despite difficulties of using PPE among police forces, it is strongly recommended for virus spread control in this population.
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