Research Highlights
Alexis Williams

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association
June 2012 
Volume 4  Number 3
Pages 199 - 201
  PDF Version Available!

Magnavita, N., Elovainio, M., Heponiemi T., Magnavita, A. M., & Bergamaschi, A. (2011). Are skin disorders related to work strain in hospital workers? A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 11(600), 3-6.Healthcare workers commonly experience dermatological symptoms, most notably hand dermatitis, as a result of repetitive hand washing, exposure to moisture and irritants, and wearing of gloves, which are required in their daily work activities. The authors of the study questioned the association between occupational stress factors and skin disorders in healthcare workers and were also interested in examining psychological factors, such as stress and depression, as causative factors for skin disorders in these patients.The cross-sectional study performed in Italy involved 1,744 healthcare workers, including nurses, physicians, clerks, technicians, biologists, psychologists, manual laborers, and many others. The participants responded to a questionnaire that addressed the occurrence of skin disorders and the psychological factors at work. The questions examined perceived stress at work including high demands, low control, low social support, strain, and isolation strain. Anxiety and depression were also assessed through the questionnaire by using a nonpsychiatric assessment tool, known as the Goldberg Scale. A physical examination was done by an occupational therapist upon completion of the questionnaire. If objective skin changes were identified, the patients were further evaluated by a dermatologist. All analyses were adjusted for age, gender, occupation, latex glove use, and history of atopy. Analysis of these patients was performed using a two-step logistic regression model.Final results revealed that 25% of patients reported some form of hand dermatitis in the 12-month period prior to the initial physical examination required by the study. Thirty-four percent reported a history of dermatitis on the wrist, elbow, knee, face, or other areas, whereas 17% reported

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