Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Dental Practitioners in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Study
Sanjeev Balappa Khanagar,
P.O.Box.3 660, Riyadh, 11426, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Introduction: The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID19) pandemic has a major impact on health care professionals, especially the dental care professionals, who are operating in close contact with their patients.
Aim: To assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on dental practitioners in Saudi Arabia in terms of mental status, dental practice changes and financial status.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among dental practitioners working in governmental and private sectors in Saudi Arabia from June to August 2020. The data was collected using a self-admistered questionnaire which included demographic data, the participants ' mental status with a focus on fear and anxiety, changes that occurred on the dental practice due to the pandemic in addition to its impact on the financial status and income. The data was entered and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. Descriptive statistics was calculated and Chi-square analysis was done.
Results: A total of 156 subjects (95 (60.9%) male and 61 (39.1%) were female) participated in this study. Most of the respondents 122 (78.2%) were concerned about transmitting the infection to people around them, 149 (95.5%) planned to implement face shields in their practice among other practice changes, 104(66.7%) expressed concern regarding the impact of the pandemic on their future income. Majority of consultants consider that COVID-19 pandemic "negatively affected" their income which was statistically significant (p=0.028). Similarly, majority of participants private sector also considered that COVID-19 pandemic "negatively affected/positively affected" their income which was statistically significant (p=0.001).
Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, dental practitioners are more affected than other health providers. This is evident by the fear and anxiety, which they are going through and the negative impact of the pandemic, which included drop in their income and limited clinical practice hours due to the deferral of elective treatment.