Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) continues to spread globally. It has become a major cause of concern for health care professionals all over the world.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess knowledge, awareness and hygiene practices regarding COVID-19 among private dental practitioners practicing in Tricity (Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali) in India during these critical times.
Materials and methods: A total of 245 private dentists participated in this cross-sectional survey and finally 215 constituted the final sample size. A self-administered, multiple choice type questionnaire (verified by a specialist) was administered to obtain information from the subjects. The questionnaire was divided into two parts and included 15 questions on knowledge and awareness regarding COVID-19. Statistical analysis was done using ANOVA and Student’s t-test.
Results: Percentage of subjects who answered correctly regarding main symptoms of COVID-19 and primary mode of transmission was 87% and 82.5% respectively. One-third of the subjects were not aware regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used while rendering dental treatment. 75% of subjects were of the opinion that supportive care is the current treatment regime for COVID-19. Less than one-third of subjects (30.2%) reported high scores. Education level (p=0.018) and health sector profile (p=0.024) of the subjects were significantly associated with mean knowledge scores.
Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed that some notable deficiencies in knowledge existed among dental professionals regarding some vital aspects of COVID-19. Therefore, there is an urgent need for improving dentists’knowledge via health education and training programs. Further studies on the subject are also warranted once the situation normalizes.
Keywords: knowledge; pandemics; coronavirus; COVID-19; dentists; emergencies; SARS-CoV-2.
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