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Exploring occupational irritant hand dermatitis amongst healthcare workers in NHS Grampian.

Papadatou, Zoi



Hector Williams

Susan Klein


Occupational irritant hand dermatitis (OIHD) is emerging as an important risk caused by or made worse by work. OIHD can cause significant and long-term health issues, and can impact on an individual's employment. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are amongst the occupations with the highest incidence rates of OIHD. The principle aim of this thesis was to explore OIHD amongst HCWs in NHS Grampian. In order to provide a broad overview of the subject matter, the thesis used a three-study approach to explore, appraise and assess OIHD amongst HCWs. The three studies made a stand-alone contribution in an effort to: i) understand the prevalence and incidence of OIHD on a local and national level, by conducting a retrospective review of the available databases; ii) identify, appraise and synthesise the best available evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent OIHD, by conducting a systematic review of the world-wide literature; iii) collect information on the distribution and determinants of OIHD in a sample of NHS Grampian HCWs, by analysing and discussing their views, experiences and perceptions. The key findings of Study I suggested that the period prevalence of OIHD amongst HCWs in NHS Grampian on a local level increased annually (2010: 1.11%, 2011: 1.34%, 2012: 2.65%, 2013: 1.45%, 2014: 2.40%, 2015: 3.35%) between 2010 and 2015, amongst the commonly accepted high-risk occupational groups. The systematic review from Study II identified a lack of studies that had evaluated the effectiveness of interventions for the primary prevention of OIHD. Meanwhile, Study III found that skin health and care for NHS Grampian HCWs is a significant part of their day-to-day job. Skin health and care at work is a multifaceted subject, consisting of facilitators and inhibitors that can affect the management, treatment and prevention of OIHD. The findings of this thesis contributed to the body of research and knowledge, by identifying and exploring gaps in the literature. It is advised that an educational, evidence-based intervention should be developed in order to prevent OIHD in HCWs within NHS Grampian; this would be in-keeping with the current drivers for creating holistically healthier workplaces.


PAPADATOU, Z. 2019. Exploring occupational irritant hand dermatitis amongst healthcare workers in NHS Grampian. Robert Gordon University [online], DPP thesis. Available from:

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jan 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 28, 2020
Keywords Occupational irritant hand dermatitis; Dermatitis; Skin diseases; Occupational diseases; Healthcare workers
Public URL
Related Public URLs (Poster)
Award Date Jul 31, 2019


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