Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry

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VOLUME 15 , ISSUE 2 ( May-August, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Research Articles

COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on the Dental Team and Implications on Dental Public Health

Anne-Marie Agius, Gabriella Gatt, Arthur RG Cortes, Nikolai J Attard

Keywords : Coronavirus, Dentistry, Lifestyle, Stress factors, Work changes

Citation Information : Agius A, Gatt G, Cortes AR, Attard NJ. COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on the Dental Team and Implications on Dental Public Health. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2021; 15 (2):64-69.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10062-0106

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 26-10-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

Aim and objective: To assess the self-reported impact of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the different members of the dental team in public, private, and academic sectors in Malta. Materials and methods: An anonymous online questionnaire on self-reported work and lifestyle changes was designed and administered. Since data were classified as categorical ranks, nonparametric tests were used to compare variables among the different dental team members. Statistical analysis: Multiple-choice question and checklist responses were treated as qualitative variables and were compared among groups using the Chi-square test. Questionnaire data obtained from the Likert scale, in turn, were treated as categorical ranks and therefore assessed using the Kruskal–Wallis test. Results from all variables obtained from the questionnaire were compared among the different dental team members. A p <0.05 significance level was used for all the tests. Results: Dental hygienists were significantly more anxious most of the time during the pandemic (p = 0.004). Furthermore, dental hygienists and associate dentists were significantly more anxious about contracting COVID-19 themselves (p = 0.005, p = 0.001) or one of their family members (p = 0.024 and p = 0.001). Both were also more anxious about not being able to work as much as they used to (p = 0.070, p = 0.008). Dental clinic owners presented significantly fewer work changes than associates (p <0.001). Conclusion: All dental team members were affected by this pandemic regarding anxiety due to health concerns, financial burdens as well as abrupt work, and lifestyle changes. However, dental hygienists were significantly more affected by the pandemic than any of the other dental team members.


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