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Evidence-Based Practice Assignment: Effectiveness of Wearing a Mask


Task: You are a nurse in a public health unit working to evaluate recommendations for effective policy that aim to control the community spread of COVID-19. You are asked to provide a brief report on evidence-based assignment that responds to the following research question:

“In adults, is wearing a mask effective for preventing human-to-human transmission of airborne illnesses”?
Using the following A’s of Evidence Based Practice, you are to:

  • Acquire the literature by using a search strategy adapted as appropriate for various research databases (e.g. PubMed; CINAHL; PsychInfo) to identify evidence that will inform your response to the research question. You are to report and justify your search strategy.
  • Appraise the quality of studies identified according to their level of evidence.
  • Assess whether evidence suggests wearing a face mask in public is effective for reducing the spread of airborne illnesses. Discuss the implications for public health recommendations. Identify gaps in the evidence where appropriate and opportunities for further research.


Acute respiratory infections are quite common and are always being a threat to society. The risks of airborne illnesses increase with the occurrence of pandemic disease COVID-19, which is letting the world to suffer a lot due to its occurrence. The prevalence rate of COVID-19 has let people go with the trend of wearing mask all around the world. There were a number of literatures supporting the need to wear the mask(Liu, & Zhang, 2020). Hence, considering the present compulsion of wearing the mask, the aim of the study is too critically appraise the use of the mask to prevent airborne illnesses.The discussion will include three A's of the evidence-based practice that are acquired, appraise, and assess to discuss the several points related to the aim. These points will be based on the literature collected to discuss the wearing of a mask in preventing human-to-human transmission of airborne illnesses.

Research Question
“In adults, is wearing a mask effective for preventing human-to-human transmission of airborne illnesses”?

To respond to the research question, the reviewing of literature has been considered as a method for the research. To conduct the research method a number of evidence-based literatureshave been considered. The evidence-based practice is the incorporation of the best research evidence with the clinical expertise and patient values, these practices are available through the literatures (Dang&Dearholt, 2017). This evidence-based practice is highly considered in the health care industry due to the well-organizedmethod of conducting the research. The key stages of the evidence-based practice are to identify the best research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values that highlight the need for wearing a mask for preventing airborne illnesses due to transmission. The evidence-based practice of nurse’s works widely on the two principles that are,any practices without having scientific evidence is not worthy to make a decision and the hierarchies should be existing within the available sources. The process of the evidence-based practice is to ask a question, search the literature, appraise the evidence, select the best evidence, then linking the evidence with experience, thendeveloping an action plan, implementing of findings, and finally evaluating the results (Grove, & Gray, 2018). The pieces of literature that have been collected to respond to the research question have been gathered using authentic databases like PubMed, CINAHL, and PsychINFO. The research paper has excluded all the pieces of literature that are providing an ambiguous result or information, only those paper has been considered that are providing authentic data to respond to the research question. All the paper that has been considered are between 2014 to 2020 yearsThe research papers consist of qualitative as well as quantitative paradigms. The qualitative process included the study that is based on the study conducted by other scholars (Rahman, 2017). The qualitative research methods include observing, focusing on the particular group, surveys, and many more. Quantitative paradigms are based on the fact that every phenomenon is explained by the positivist paradigm. It quantifies variables and solves problems using numeric assessment. The methods that are being considered are correlation survey, cross-sectional survey, longitudinal survey, experimental survey, and many more(Antwi, &Hamza, 2015). These researches that are conducted to evaluate the different aspect of the praxis of the nursing and will be helping them to solidify the knowledge they are having. The reason for choosing evidence-based research is that it will help to provide the practical application that is well proofed by the researchers and are applicable without being ambiguous about the existing information.Hence, the research strategies that havebeen mentioned above will be providing highlyresearched information, which would have wider application in the nursing field.

According to the Sim, et al., (2014), the respiratory airborne illnesses are a quite common threat within the society. The wearing of the facemasks has proven to be an effective barrier to avoid airborne disease. The qualitative study conducted to identify the effectiveness of the mask to avoid air transmission in the health care industry has been discussed by the authors. The author has gone through the quality research, by collecting the information from the authentic database like Medline, PubMed, world health organization, and many other sites.

Quality research has been conducted by Liang et al., (2020) highlights the importance of the mask in COVID-19 human transmission of airborne illnesses. The study was conducted with the help of the systematic review as well as meta-analysis. The author has considered 21 studies, and the meta-analysis has highlighted the fact that the virus infecting respiratory is widely reduce in the worker who has a mask. The mask-wearing provides a protective effect which is significant in cluster randomized trials and observational studies.

According to Esposito, et al., (2020) focused on the fact whether the universal wearing of the mask has an impact over COVID-19. A systematic review has been conducted to ensure the need of wearing a mask in controlling the human to human airborne illnesses. The systematic review has also considered the evidence that has been provided by the world health organization.

As commented by Liet al., (2020) the COVID-19 has to lead the world to face a number of complications. The impact of the COVID-19 has led the people to compulsory the wearing of the face masks to avoid any kind of transmission of the disease. The study reflected the fact that wearing the face mask has unable the transmission of airborne illnesses in nursing care. Wearing a face mask has let to impact all the airborne diseases that directly impact the respiratory or other respiratory causing infection. The government has also supported the wearing of the mask according to the authors.

Evaluation and findings

From the above literature review, all the evidence-based literature has supported their response towards wearing of masks. It can be determined from the research that the mask is helping the people to avoid not only the transmission of the airborne illnesses transmission COVID-19 virus, rather it is helping to prevent every respiratory infection. From the literature, it can be evaluated that mask is helping the people to save themselves from spreading their diseases to others and vice-versa (Feng et al., 2020). It is working as additional protection for the human being. The exchange of droplets from others increases a chance of infection of a number of diseases apart from COVID-19, hence wearing a mask is always effective for preventing human-to-human transmission of airborne illnesses in nursing care (Javid, et al., 2020).

The implication for public health recommendations
To improve the nursing practices, the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the nursing care for public health recommendations are several. As the nurses come in contact with the patient primarily, the health care center can plan to provide the mask while entering the healthcare center. The mask will be changed daily basis for the patients who are admitted to the center. It would be implemented for both the nurse as well as the patients, to avoid any kind of transmission of the airborne disease from any of the people. This recommendation will be helping to evaluate the nursing care practice in more secured and effective ways. As the present condition of the world, COVID-19 prevention is the only solution to provide a service without being infected or without letting other to be infected(Wang, et al., 2020)

Gaps in the evidence
The uttermost gap that leads to the occurrences of the issues related to the wearing of a mask is that a number of people feel uncomfortable wearing a mask. They believethat the masks are letting them feel suffocated and suppressed. This is a disadvantage of wearing masks that have not been highlighted by any of the evidence. The ethical consideration related to the wearing of a mask isthat, it is letting the people avoid wearing a mask. Policies that have made it compulsory to wear a mask are letting the people to feel an interruption done with their freedom. A number of country people have protested these types of policies. This has an impact on nursing and health care research and practices (Cheng et al., 2020). Hence, for further research, it would be suggested to focus on these factors and recommend the appropriate solution for it.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that every literature supports the fact that wearing a mask is an effective preventive step to avoid the airborne illnesses which might transmit from human-to-human. It can be evaluated that mask has not only helped to prevent the transmission of the virus of COVID-19, rather it has helped to prevent a number of respiratory infections. The high rate of pollution and dirt present in the environment has let to increase the rate of respiratory infection in the number of people. Wearing of mask will be highly preventing from the occurring of every airborne disease. There are some of the issues and ethical considerations that are letting the people avoid wearing of the mask, despite having several shreds of evidence in support of the wearing the mask.?

Cheng, V. C., Wong, S. C., Chuang, V. W., So, S. Y., Chen, J. H., Sridhar, S., ... & Yuen, K. Y. (2020). The role of community-wide wearing of face mask for control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic due to SARS-CoV-2. Journal of Infection. Retrieve from:

Dang, D., &Dearholt, S. L. (2017). Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice: Model and guidelines. Sigma Theta Tau.Retrieve from:,+D.,+%26+Dearholt,+S.+L.+(2017).+Johns+Hopkins+nursing+evidence-based+practice:+Model+and+guidelines.+Sigma+Theta+Tau.&ots=_hiKAwRrzb&sig=56tsX-ZmdJdg4ZU1Y8PwZWBI5dc&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Dang%2C%20D.%2C%20%26%20Dearholt%2C%20S. %20L.%20(2017).%20Johns%20Hopkins%20nursing%20evidence-based%20practice%3A%20Model%20and%20guidelines.%20Sigma%20Theta%20Tau.&f=false

Esposito, S., Principi, N., Leung, C. C., &Migliori, G. B. (2020). Universal use of face masks for success against COVID-19: evidence and implications for prevention policies. European Respiratory Journal. Retrieve from:

Feng, S., Shen, C., Xia, N., Song, W., Fan, M., & Cowling, B. J. (2020).

Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 8(5), 434-436.Retrieve from:

Grove, S. K., & Gray, J. R. (2018). Understanding Nursing Research E-Book: Building an Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences. Retrieve from: nTyTUF6UbU&sig=_AfZqP09TsB3492Nr2Wz8yNtf4U&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=define%20evidence% 20based%20practice%20in%20nursing&f=false

Javid, B., Weekes, M. P., & Matheson, N. J. (2020). Covid-19: should the public wear face masks?. Retrieve from:

Li, T., Liu, Y., Li, M., Qian, X., & Dai, S. Y. (2020). Mask or no mask for COVID-19: A public health and market study. PloS one, 15(8), e0237691. Retrieve from:

Liang, M., Gao, L., Cheng, C., Zhou, Q., Uy, J. P., Heiner, K., & Sun, C. (2020). Efficacy of face mask in preventing respiratory virus transmission: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 101751. Retrieve from:

Liu, X., & Zhang, S. (2020). COVID?19: Face masks and human?to?human transmission. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. Retrieve from:

Rahman, M. S. (2017). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Methods in Language" Testing and Assessment" Research: A Literature Review. Journal of Education and Learning, 6(1), 102-112. Retrieve from:

Sim, S. W., Moey, K. S. P., & Tan, N. C. (2014). The use of facemasks to prevent respiratory infection: a literature review in the context of the Health Belief Model. Singapore medical journal, 55(3), 160. Retrieve from: Wang, J., Pan, L., Tang, S., Ji, J. S., & Shi, X. (2020). Mask use during COVID-19: A risk adjusted strategy. Environmental Pollution, 115099. Retrieve from:

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