Work environment and hand dermatitis among nurses in a Chinese teaching hospital

  • Derek R. Smith
  • Ning Wei
  • Lin Kang
  • Rui-Sheng Wang
Short Communication



The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the working environment on hand dermatitis (HD) prevalence among nurses in a Chinese teaching hospital.


We utilised a previously validated, self-reporting survey which was translated into Chinese.


The prevalence of HD among nurses was 18.3%, although this rate varied between departments, ranging from 9.4% in gynaecology to 26.7% in intensive care (P for Trend=0.3167). Logistic regression indicated that wet work was the most important HD risk factor, with a 9-fold increase (OR 9.0, 95% CI 1.2–74.9, P=0.0342). Allergic disease was also related to HD, with a 4.6-fold increase noted (OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.4–15.0, P=0.0096).


Overall, the prevalence of HD among Chinese hospital nurses appears to be less than that of their foreign counterparts. Nevertheless, the burden of this disease does seem to vary with respect to depertment of employment within the hospital.

Key words

work environment hand dermatitis China nurse wet work 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Hygiene 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek R. Smith
    • 1
  • Ning Wei
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lin Kang
    • 3
  • Rui-Sheng Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Hazard AssessmentNational Institute of Industrial HealthKawasakJapan
  2. 2.Department of Medical Psychology, Third Teaching HospitalHebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina
  3. 3.Fourth Teaching HospitalHebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina

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