Mental Health Status of Dental Faculty,
Students and their Parents during
COVID-19 Pandemic in Southern
India: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. KSV Ramesh,
Flat No. 309, SLV Siva Sri Gowri Bhadra Enclave, 32nd Ward, Netaji Street,
Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an infectious and devastating disease that has created heightened levels of anxiety and fear among the general population. Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) has also brought many changes in everyone’s lives including closing of schools, colleges/universities and social isolation in an unexplained manner. In these unprecedented times, lot of sway has been developed among teaching faculty, students and student’s parents in the medical profession including dental schools. However, the impact on students is likely to be noteworthy.
Aim: To assess the awareness, attitude, anxiety and perceived mental healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic among dental faculty, students and their parents in South India.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, observational questionnaire based study was carried out among 1000 dental faculty, students and student’s parents in South India between August 2020 to December 2020. A questionnaire with 20 items regarding awareness, attitude, anxiety and perceived mental healthcare was designed on Google forms and sent through e-mails and WhatsApp. Snowball sampling technique was used and 1000 self-selected dental faculty, students and student’s parents in South India were included in the study. Data was subjected to statistical analysis using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software v. 20.0 International Business Machines Corporation-United States of America (IBM-USA). Chi-square test was used to analyse the data. The p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The findings showed all the respondents were aware with positive attitude and awareness on this pandemic in regard to its spread and precautions to be taken. However, parents (59.2%) were more preoccupied with eliminate thoughts and more were anxious when compared to faculty (32.1%) and students (32.4%), whereas faculty were more concerned about family’s health and safety (49%) and financial status (54.5%) (p<0.001). All the respondents felt that getting engaged and sharing their worries would help them and mental health help requirement is greater in students (86.5%), student’s parents (81.4%) followed by faculty (71.5%) (p<0.001).
Conclusion: During this pandemic even though respondents were aware of the possible squeal of infection and preventive measures. The findings suggest a need to address the mental health worries of the people during these pandemics.