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Activity and Usability Evaluation of Alternative Protective Face Mask Designs
Virtual Program Session
DescriptionThis research aimed to evaluate the usability of three alternative protective face mask designs from the clinical perspective. In a remote study, dental students (n=38) with experience wearing N95 FFRs participated in a randomized wear trial with simulated activities to measure mask performance. A Likert-scale survey instrument was developed to examine conditions of discomfort, fit stability, wear efficiency, and speech intelligibility. Survey results indicated the KN95 mask demonstrated the highest overall mask usability, followed by MNmask v2, and MNmask v1. While participants found MNmask v1 uncomfortable, the stability was rated highest during a head up and down activity (M=3.54). Here, the KN95 mask had a lower rating (M=3.36), revealing potential issues with a loose fit. MNmask v2 showed overall improvement from MNmask v1, but revealed complications with the paracord bands. The findings from this study may be applied broadly in improving mask performance and usability in protective face mask designs.