Persistence of respirator use learning

Philip Harber, Jing Su, Cheng Cheng Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although retraining and repeat fit-testing are needed for respirator users, the optimal frequency is uncertain. The persistence of proper respirator donning/doffing techniques and changes in quantitative fit factor over 6 months after initial training were measured in this study. Initial training was designed for rapid rollout situations in which direct contact with well-trained occupational health professionals may be infeasible. Subjects (n = 175) were assigned randomly to use either a filtering facepiece N95 (FFR) or dual cartridge half facemask (HFM) respirator. Each was assigned randomly to one of three training methods - printed brochure, video, or computer-based training. Soon after initial training, quantitative fit and measures of proper technique were determined. These measurements were repeated 6months later. In the six-month followup, subjects were randomized to receive either a brief reminder card or a placebo card. Total performance score, major errors, and quantitative fit all became significantly worse at 6 months. An individual's result soon after training was the most important predictor of performance 6 months later. There was a marginal not statistically significant tendency for those initially trained by video to have better protection 6 months later. The study suggests that persons who use respirators intermittently should be thoroughly retrained and reevaluated periodically. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene for the following free supplemental resource: Additional statistical analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-832
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental hygiene
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2014


  • Respirator
  • Respiratory protection
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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