Evaluation of dental students' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding COVID-19 infection: a cross-sectional survey

Minerva Dent Oral Sci. 2022 Jul 5. doi: 10.23736/S2724-6329.22.04704-0. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to determine the differences between preclinical and clinical dental students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 303 undergraduate dental students (107 clinical students and 196 preclinical students). Questionnaires were given to the participants using an online data collection platform. The online questionnaire covered the dental students' sociodemographic information and their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors coronavirus disease.

Results: More frequently than preclinical students, clinical students benefited from the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak obtained from television, internet news sites, and the World Health Organization website (p<0.05). The use of other protective equipment other than gloves and goggles has changed from "No" before the pandemic to "Yes" onset of the pandemic (p<0.001). The knowledge level of infection control in dentistry increased significantly more for clinical students than for preclinical students (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Although dental students show reasonable knowledge, attitudes and behavior about COVID-19, attention shoul be taken to provide education on infectious diseases, starting from preclinical classes, and to make real information resources provided by global and national health authorities accessible to students.