Purpose: To determine whether glove use modifies tactile and psychomotor performance of health care providers when compared with no glove use and to evaluate factors that influence the selection of sterile glove brand. Methods: Forty-two anesthesia providers (nine anesthesiologists, seven nurse anesthetists, 20 residents, six student nurse anesthetists) enrolled in and completed this cross-over randomized trial from May 2010 until August 2011. Participants underwent standardized psychomotor testing while wearing five different types of protective gloves. Assessments of psychomotor performance included tactile, fine motor/dexterity, and hand-eye coordination tests. Subjective ratings of glove comfort and performance were reported at the completion of each glove trial. The manufacturer's suggested retail price was collected for each glove tested. Results: There were statistically significant differences in touch sensitivity for all nerve distributions, with all glove types resulting in less sensitivity than a bare hand. When compared with the non-sterile glove, only the thickest glove tested (Ansell Perry Orthopaedic) was found to have less touch sensitivity. Fine motor dexterity testing revealed no statistically significant differences in time to completion amongst glove types or bare handed performance. In hand-eye coordination testing across treatment conditions, the thickest glove tested (Ansell Perry® Orthopaedic) was the only glove to show a statistically significant difference from a bare hand. There were statistically significant differences in glove comfort ratings across glove types, with latex-free, powder-free (Cardinal Esteem ®), and latex powder-free (Mölnlycke-Biogel®) rated highest; however, there were no statistically significant differences in subjective performance ratings across glove types. Conclusions: Given the observed similarities in touch sensitivity and psychomotor performance associated with five different glove types, our results suggest that subjective provider preferences, such as glove comfort, should be balanced against material costs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine