Assessing Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of dental practitioners regarding the COVID-19 pandemic: A multinational study

Dent Med Probl. Jan-Mar 2020;57(1):11-17. doi: 10.17219/dmp/119743.

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared a global public health emergency that is affecting people across the globe.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) of dental practitioners regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019) pandemic.

Material and methods: An online questionnaire was distributed among dentists across the globe using a combination of convenience and snowball sampling. The questionnaire was divided into 4 sections: the 1st one contained personal information, whereas the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sections assessed knowledge (11 questions), attitudes (6 questions) and practices (7 questions) of the dentists. The data was subjected to the Shapiro-Wilk test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate linear regression, and Pearson's correlation; 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated and odds ratio (OR) was obtained. The analysis was done using IBM SPSS for Windows, v. 21.0.

Results: The total number of the responses received (860) was divided with regard to various continents (Asia, Americas - North and South, Europe, Africa, and other - Australia and Antarctica). The largest number of dentists came from the Asian continent (264; 30.7%). Most dentists had a degree of MDS (Master of Dental Science) (301; 35.0%), followed by BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) (282; 32.8%) and DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) (226; 26.3%). High/Good knowledge and practice scores were observed among 92.7% and 79.5 % of the dentists, respectively. Good knowledge scores were significantly associated with qualifications (p = 0.04) and years of practice (p = 0.02); good practice scores were associated with qualifications only (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: The dentists were found to have good knowledge and practice scores, which is important to combat COVID-19. They are advised to follow the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in their clinics, and sensitize their staff so that no stone is left unturned in defeating this pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; dentists; pandemic.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Dentists* / education
  • Dentists* / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors