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Risk of Sharps Injuries to Home Care Nurses and Aides: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Brouillette, Natalie M. ScD; Quinn, Margaret M. ScD; Kriebel, David ScD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 11 - p 1072–1077
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001160
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate all available literature and develop a pooled estimate of the risk of sharps injuries (SI) among home care (HC) nurses and aides.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted and relevant articles were reviewed following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Primary outcome data from studies identified by the systematic review were pooled using a random effects model to calculate a summary measure of SI risk for nurses and for aides.

Results: Five articles were included in the final analysis. Nurses had a 5.25% weighted average risk of experiencing at least one SI in the past year while working in HC (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.11% to 7.40%); aides pooled SI risk was 1.74% (95% CI: 0.72% to 2.77%).

Conclusions: Combining findings of all available studies demonstrates that there is a serious risk of SI among both the HC nurses and aides.

College of Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts.

Address correspondence to: Margaret M. Quinn, ScD, College of Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854 (

Funding: The study was funded by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (R01 OH008229), which had no role in the study design, data gathering, analysis, interpretation of the data, or writing of the manuscript. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The corresponding author had full access to all the data and final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.

Conflict of Interest: None declared.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine