Patient Questions Surrounding Mask Use for Prevention of COVID-19 and Physician Answers from an Evidence-Based Perspective: a Narrative Review

Jessica A. Martinez, Rachel H. Miller, Ryan A. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent mandates to wear masks in public places across the USA combined with conflicting messaging from the media and government agencies have generated a lot of patient questions surrounding the appropriate use and efficacy of cloth masks. Here, we have organized the evidence in the context of real patient questions and have provided example answers from a physician’s perspective. The purpose of this review is to offer healthcare providers with examples of how to respond to patient questions about masks in a way that encourages responsible decision-making. We conclude, based on the evidence showing a benefit for cloth masks and the recent reports supporting a role for aerosols in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, that cloth masks will be effective when used correctly. We further assert that stronger public messaging surrounding cloth masks in the community setting is needed, and should specify that 2–3 layer, fitted face masks be worn at all times in public as another layer of protection in addition to social distancing, not just when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2739-2744
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume36
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Patient Questions Surrounding Mask Use for Prevention of COVID-19 and Physician Answers from an Evidence-Based Perspective: a Narrative Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this