February/March 2014 (vol. 10/5)

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Research Plus

Trainee nurses’ wet work risks hand eczema

Wet work is a significant risk factor for new hand eczema, according to this Dutch prospective cohort study involving 533 trainee nurses followed up for one to three years. Participants completed health questionnaires, as well as pocket diary cards charting occupational wet work and skin symptoms. Those reporting symptoms were seen by an occupational physician specialising in dermatology. Eighty-one new cases of hand eczema were identified, mostly in the first year of training. Frequent hand washing (more than eight times per shift) was associated with hand eczema (odds ratio (OR) = 1.5; CI 1.02–2.25). However, frequent hand washing at home (OR = 2.3; CI 1.5–3.7) and having a job ‘on the side’ involving wet work, such as healthcare not associated with their training, bar or restaurant work (OR 1.6; 1.0–2.4), were independent risk factors.

Wet work and hand eczema in apprentice nurses; part I of a prospective cohort study. Contact Dermatitis 2014, 70(1), 44–55


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2014 (vol. 10/5) pp41