VHA Research

Safer Teams

Occupational Hand Dermatitis in Healthcare - Development and Evaluation of an Online Learning and Self-Screening Program

What’s the challenge?

Healthcare workers exposed to wet work are at an increased risk for occupational contact dermatitis and may benefit from screening to detect early disease.

What are we doing?

A 10-minute e-module for early identification, management, and prevention of occupational hand dermatitis, including self-screening for disease has been developed. We will evaluate the usability of the e-learning program and the impact of training and self-screening on knowledge and hand health practices in acute, long-term, and home care workers in Ontario.

What have we found?

220 participants tested the e-module across home, community, hospital, and long-term care settings in Ontario. Participants identified as nurses (31.3%), PSWs (22.8%), and allied healthcare providers such as rehab staff (26%).

After completing the e-module, participation’s knowledge of hand dermatitis significantly improved. On average, participants scored 19% higher on the occupational hand dermatitis knowledge test after completing the e-module (average post-scores were 83.5%) versus before completing the e-module training (average pre-scores were 64.5%).

The majority of participants agreed that the e-module content was relevant, clear and logical, timing was reasonable and appropriate, with the right amount of detail, appropriate visual design, smooth functionality, and were likely to recommend the e-module training to a co-worker (97.2%).

What is next?

Next steps for this project include testing whether knowledge about occupational hand dermatitis was retained six months after completing the e-module and finalizing the e-module for wider distribution to healthcare workers.

Project partners

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Project Funders

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Project Contact

Kathryn Nichol, RN, PhD
Vice President Quality, Best Practice, Research and Education & CNE
VHA Home HealthCare
knichol@vha.ca