Factors associated with access and use of PPE during COVID-19: A cross-sectional study of Italian physicians

Elena Savoia, Giorgia Argentini, Davide Gori, Elena Neri, Rachael Piltch-Loeb, Maria Pia Fantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives During the course of the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, Italy has reported one of the highest number of infections. Nearly ten percent of reported coronavirus infections in Italy occurred in healthcare workers. This study aimed to understand physicians' access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and to information about their use, risk perception and strategies adopted to prevent contracting the infection. Methods We undertook a cross-sectional, online self-reported survey implemented between March 31 and April 5 2020 of Italian physicians. Results Responses were received from 516 physicians, only 13% of which reported to have access to PPE every time they need them. Approximately half of the physicians reported that the information received about the use of PPE was either clear (47%) or complete (54%). Risk perception about contracting the infection was influenced by receiving adequate information on the use of PPE. Access to adequate information on the use of PPE was associated with better ability to perform donning and doffing procedures [OR = 2.2 95% C.I. 1.7-2.8] and reduced perception of risk [OR = 0.5, 95% C.I. 0.4-0.6]. Conclusions Results from this rapid survey indicate that while ramping up supplies on PPE for healthcare workers is certainly of mandatory importance, adequate training and clear instructions are just as important.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0239024
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10 October 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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