Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing


Maria deValpine

Stephanie Nagy-Agren



The idea of using facemasks for source control is not new. The concept has been published since 1918 during the Spanish Flu. However, there is limited research testing human subjects on the effectiveness of facemasks in preventing influenza transfer or transmission. The objective of this study was to answer the question, “In influenza-positive Veterans, what is the effect of facemask wearing in comparison to not wearing a facemask on influenza transfer to bedside tables measured for two hours per condition over a ten-week time frame during the 2019/2020 influenza season?” A quasi-experimental evidence-based project pilot study design was used. Influenza-positive Veterans admitted to the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center were recruited to participate in the study. Surface swabs were used to measure the presence of influenza on bedside tables. Worn facemasks were also tested for influenza. A study questionnaire captured qualitative information on tolerability and feasibility of wearing a facemask when sick with influenza. Eight participants completed the study from January 2, 2020 to March 11, 2020. No influenza was captured on any bedside table under either facemask-wearing condition. One hundred percent of participants claimed it was easy or very easy to wear their facemask. Fifty percent of participants selected two hours as the time frame they could tolerate wearing a mask; the other 25% specified they could wear their facemask for three hours or five hours or more, respectively. This pilot study will guide future research, and it affirmed wearing facemasks is a tolerable infection control practice for providing source control.

Keywords: facemasks, source control, influenza



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