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Masks for Prevention of Influenza Transmission in Acute and Long-Term Care Settings: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines

Last updated: March 31, 2020
Project Number: RC1255-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Device
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of masks for unvaccinated health care workers to prevent the transmission of influenza in acute or long-term care settings?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of masks for unvaccinated health care workers to prevent the transmission of influenza in acute or long-term care settings?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of masks for unvaccinated health care workers to prevent the transmission of influenza?

Key Message

​Four SRs (one with meta-analysis [MA]), were identified and included in this review. All SRs met the inclusion criteria for this report; however, none of their primary studies met our eligibility criteria. Thus, the clinical effectiveness of masks for unvaccinated HCWs to prevent the transmission of influenza in acute or long-term care settings remains unclear.

No evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of masks for unvaccinated HCWs to prevent the transmission of influenza in acute or long-term care settings was identified. Furthermore, no evidence-based guideline regarding the use of masks for unvaccinated HCWs to prevent the transmission of influenza was identified.