Dentists knowledge, attitudes, and professional behavior toward the COVID-19 pandemic : A multisite survey of dentists perspectives
Baqain, Zaid H
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Background: COVID-19 continues to affect the dental community worldwide. The authors conducted a cross-sectional electronic study using a multisite survey to examine dentists’ knowledge, attitudes, and professional behavior toward COVID-19 and the affect on their livelihood. Methods: A questionnaire was circulated via e-mail and social media platforms to dentists in North America, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific regions. It covered demographic characteristics and questions about the COVID-19 outbreak related to dentists’ levels of comfort for preventive and safety measures, provision of treatment, affect on work, and financial implications. Responses were tabulated and analyzed by means of c 2 or Fisher exact test. MannWhitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare means. P < .05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 1,251 dentists responded. General dentists represented 63.9% of the respondents and 62.5% worked in private practice. The global score for level of comfort with the preventive measures and provisions of treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic was low (14 of 30), and differences between regions were significant (P < .01); dentists working in private practice and general dental practitioners were less comfortable (P < .01). Conclusions and Practical Implications: The respondents reported a lack of preparedness to confront a highly infectious respiratory disease. A new level of protective armamentarium in the dental operatory and updated operational guidance and policies are required, necessitating educators and regulators to ensure the delivery of knowledge and skills to oral health care providers. Dentists need to address the sustainability of their practices and have a robust business plan.