Survey of the general public to determine perceptions and precautions taken when choosing personal service establishments
Objective: Personal service establishments (PSEs) include tattoo parlors, piercing shops, and beauty salons. Many of the services provided have potential to spread diseases due to the invasive nature and possibility of cross contamination if sanitation procedures are not followed. Potential infections such as nontuberculosis mycobacterium, staphylococcus aureus and blood borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV are possible. There is concern among Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), and professionals in the industry regarding the lack of regulations and training of employees within the industry. This study investigated the criteria and safety measures the public takes when determining which personal service establishment they receive treatments from. Methods: A questionnaire was administered online through social media and Google Docs. Inferential statistical analyses determined if there were associations between certain demographic information and the responses given from participants. Results: There were six associations that were found when comparing demographic groups (age, gender and education) with the survey questions. A p value of 0.021008 was found in the association between age and perceived level of regulation of the industry, a p value of 0.014407 was found in the association between education and asking about sanitation procedures before an appointment, and a p value of 0.008668 was found in the association of education and if participant asks for references. In addition, p values of 0.028151 and 0.011739 with associations of gender and education, respectively, and the participants perceived ability to recognize bad practices during a procedure. Finally, a p value of 0.029766 was found in the association of gender and participants interest in additional information about how to choose an establishment. Conclusions: There were six hypotheses that resulted in statistically significant associations between a demographic and the survey question. Over 30 year olds chose PSEs were minimally regulated, while higher education groups were more likely to ask about sanitation and for references before a procedure. Females and people with some post secondary education felt they were more able to recognize bad practices during a procedure. Finally, females were most interested in additional information about PSEs.