Introduction: novel corona virus infection has become a public health crisis leading the world to a standstill including dentistry. However, since the dental services cannot be stopped for a long period it is important that dentist be fully prepared before resuming their services. Therefore, the current study was carried out for evaluating knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) along with perceived barriers to practice dentistry during pandemic.
Methods: this cross-sectional study was conducted through an online survey questionnaire on dentists of India. Dentists were enquired for demographics, KAP and perceived barriers regarding practicing dentistry during pandemic. The knowledge was assessed based on 16 items in true or false or multiple choice questions format getting score of 1 or 0. The attitude and practices by 8 items each, on 5-point Likert scale and 4 items perceived barriers were enquired. The differences between the median scores among demographic variables were determined by applying student's t-test and keeping level of significance at below 0.05.
Results: out of 500 dentists who were approached through email, a total of 296 dentists returned the questionnaire (response rate, 59.2%) among which 22 questionnaires were incomplete and thus excluded making 274 as final study participants. Overall poor median scores of knowledge and practices were obtained whereas for attitude total median score was good. Median practice scores were significantly higher among female respondents (20(6)). Median knowledge and practice scores were significantly better in study participants with age <40 years (6(4) and 19(5), respectively).
Conclusion: with the recent claims of authorities that virus is going to stay in world for quite some time it is essential that dentists must be fully prepared before resuming their services and must attain proper awareness to limit the disease spread.
Keywords: COVID-19; dental professionals; dentistry; preparedness.
© Kumar Tathagat Singh et al.