Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Tara L. Newcomb

Committee Member

Ann Bruhn

Committee Member

Norou Diawara


Purpose: Physiological symptoms and comfort levels while wearing an N95 respiratory mask has not been examined with dental hygienists. The purpose of this study was to investigate dental hygiene students reported physiological symptoms and comfort perception while wearing an N95 respirator mask during patient care appointments. Methods: After IRB approval (IRB #1987754-2), a 16-item questionnaire was distributed through email to a convenience sample of 65 dental hygiene students. Questions assessed respiratory, dermatologic, cardiac, mask mouth and general physiological symptoms, as well as comfort levels. Additionally, participants were asked to respond to demographic questions and one open ended question inquiring about any additional physiological conditions not listed in the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and a paired-sample t-test and an ANOVA test were used for data analysis. Results: An overall response rate of 95% was obtained (n=54). Between the two groups, senior students reported more physiological symptoms at a statistically significant rate when compared to junior students in sore throat (P


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