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Compare the Effectiveness of Positive Results Between N95 Respirators and Medical Masks in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review

*Ali Amiri, Sara Jafarizadeh, Aziz Goshaderoo, Pantea Moradinejad, Jaqueline Alves do Nascimento.


Aim: According to recent studies and systematic review and meta-analysis, there is not enough evidence to determine which has a positive effect on COVID-19 epidemics, and the number of articles is very low. Therefore, the present study aims to compare the efficiency of positive results between N95 respirators and medical masks.
Methods: Among the electronic databases, we selected Cochrane Library, PubMed, ISI, and Embas for systematically review the publications from 2010 to 2020. We then applied a software program called Endnote X8 to investigate the electronic topics and used mesh terms and concepts for searching. Log risk-ratio between both groups (N95 respirators & medical masks) with 95% confidence interval (CI), Mantel-Haenszel method as well as fixed effect model were computed. Moreover, we employed a commercial software program called Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Stata 16 for evaluating forest plots and meta-analysis.
Results: Totally, we observed 27 abstracts and topics with the potential relevance in the course of the manual and electronic searches so that three papers matched our inclusion criteria for performing a systematic review. Risk ratio equaled (RR, 0.01 95% CI 0.00, 0.02. P= 0.07), showing that using N95 respirators and medical masks did not significantly differ in preventing respiratory viral infections. Moreover, Using N95 respirators and medical masks did not significantly differ in preventing bacterial colonization (p=0.02).
Conclusion: This research revealed a positive impact of both N95 respirators and medical masks for COVID-19.

Key words: COVID-19, N95 respirators, medical masks.

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