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Safer Teams

VHA Research

New home health care worker safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic


You are being asked to participate in research about your use of facial protective equipment because you are a PSW or Nurse who provides home care. Please make sure all of your questions about this study have been answered before you proceed to the survey.

This study is funded by the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease (CREOD).

Why is this study being done?

To identify key factors affecting nurses and PSWs’ use of facial protective equipment (masks, eye protection, face shields) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What will happen during the study?

You will be asked to complete a 15-minute survey about your use of facial protective equipment.

What are the risks and benefits of participating in the study?

There are no physical, social or legal risks to participating, but it may bring up unpleasant memories and feelings related to facial protective equipment use and working during the COVID-19 pandemic. If participating raises concerns, please ask the researcher to share links to your organization’s resources about working safely in the COVID-19 pandemic.


You may benefit from increased knowledge about facial protective equipment and infection prevention and control. Home care agencies may use survey findings to make it easier to use facial protective equipment and reduce the spread of COVID-19, improving safety for providers and patients.

Will I be compensated for my time?

A $20 gift card will be provided as remuneration for your time. If you stop completing the survey before the final page, you will not have the opportunity to provide your email address and receive compensation.

How will my information be kept confidential?

Personal Information: If you agree to join this study, the survey will collect some information that could identify you. This includes your:

· Name and email address
· Age
· Gender
· Educational background
· Number of years working in this field and at your organization
· Type of employment and number of hours worked per week

All study information will be held in strict confidence. Your name will not be linked with your study data. No identifying information about you or your participation will be shared with your employer. Study data will be stored on password-protected servers and written information in locked cabinets in a secure environment for a period of 7 years, after which it will be destroyed.

Only the study team or the people or groups listed below will be able to look at your records.

· Representatives of the University of Toronto Human Research Ethics Program (to help ensure participant protection procedures are followed)

When the results of the study are published, your identity will be kept secret. You will have the option to access any written reports or papers published about the study.

Your participation is voluntary

Your participation is voluntary. You may choose not to do the survey. You may stop and choose not to submit the survey without any negative consequences. Withdrawal from the study will be possible until the survey has been submitted, after which it will no longer be possible.

What are my rights as a participant?

By consenting to this study, you do not give up any of your legal rights against the investigators, funder or involved institutions, nor does this form relieve the investigators, sponsors or involved institutions from their legal and professional responsibilities.

Conflict of Interest

Researchers have an interest in completing this study. The Researchers collecting data have no direct or indirect reporting relationship with any of the study participants.


If you have any concerns, questions or would like to speak to the Research Team, please contact the Principal Investigator: Dr. Kathryn Nichol at 416–482–4615 or k.nichol@utoronto.ca, or the Researcher: Vivian Hung vhung@vha.ca

If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant or have concerns about this study, you can contact the Research Oversight and Compliance Office – Human Research Ethics Program at ethics.review@utoronto.ca or 416-946-3273. The Research Ethics Board is not part of the study team. Everything that you discuss will be kept confidential.


Dr. Kathryn Nichol
University of Toronto & VHA Home HealthCare