Nurses: Workers Particularly Concerned by Contact Dermatitis in Public Hospital


Background: Contact dermatitis is common disease and represents a significant problem in healthcare sector, mainly among nurses. Many studies reported the prevalence of contact dermatitis from different parts of the world. Nevertheless, data about its frequency in Tunisia especially in public hospital seems to be insufficient. This study aims to assess the prevalence of contact dermatitis among nurses working in public hospital and identify risk factors. Patient and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among a representative sample of 1278 health professionals working in a public hospital matched by professional status and department. The survey was based on a questionnaire, a specialized examination and patch tests. Results: The prevalence of occupational contact dermatitis was 22% (17.5 - 27.2). The worker profile at risk of contact dermatitis was a female nurse aged 37 years working in a surgical department during 12.7 ± 9.36 years. Hands were damaged in 92.4% of cases and rhythmicity with occupational exposure was reported by 86% of affected individuals. Patch tests using European Standard Battery were performed among 33 workers and revealed a sensitization to an allergen among 26 workers. Patch test using rubber battery (if suspicion of allergic contact dermatitis to gloves) was performed among 29 agents and positive among 12. The analytical study revealed that history of atopy, job tenure, the mean daily number of hand washing, the mean daily number of worn gloves and mean duration of glove wearing were significantly higher in the affected population. Conclusion: Contact dermatitis affects particularly nurses in public hospitals. Its prevention requires a diagnostic approach based on a detailed professional investigation and patch tests.

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Omrane, A. , Amri, C. , Bouzgarrou, L. , Mahfoudh, A. , Khalfallah, T. , Akrout, M. , Henchi, M. and Ali, H. (2019) Nurses: Workers Particularly Concerned by Contact Dermatitis in Public Hospital. Open Journal of Nursing, 9, 313-328. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2019.93030.

Conflicts of Interest

All authors agree with the content of the manuscript. There are no conflicts of interests between or among authors.


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