Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practices among dental practitioners on methods of infection control while carrying out dental procedures during novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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Pan African Medical Journal


Introduction: dental procedures produce bio-aerosols that can carry the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. Hence, the entire dental care team has to follow the current COVID-19 related infection control protocols. The study aims to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices associated with infection control methods during dental procedures among dental practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Methods: the online questionnaire consisted of four sections namely, demographic details, eight questions on knowledge, four questions on attitude and eight questions on the practice of dentists during COVID-19 pandemic. One point was attributed for a correct response and zero point for an incorrect response. The study used descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression models in Jamovi 1.8.1 to establish relationships between knowledge, attitude, and practices among dental professionals and their demographic characteristics. Results: among 384 dentists, 294 (76.6%) were aware of the hand hygiene methods, 372 dentists (96.9%) were aware of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 343 dentists (89.3%) recorded the body temperature of the patients. One hundred and thirty eight (138) dentists (35.9%) did not use rubber dam and 158 dentists (41.1%) were not aware of the four-handed dentistry. Among the study participants, 57.8% displayed adequate knowledge, 63.8% possessed good attitude and 93.5% followed good practices on COVID-19 appropriate infection control measures during dental procedures. The mean knowledge, attitude, and practice scores were found to be 6.61, 2.04, and 3.38 respectively. Based on multivariable binary logistic regression analysis, it is observed that males (aOR: 0.55, 95% CI 0.35-0.87; p=0.011) have a lower likelihood of having a good knowledge when compared with females after adjusting for the other independent variables in the model. Also, individuals with higher qualifications (aOR: 0.57, 95% CI 0.36-0.92; p=0.022) appear to have lower likelihood of having good knowledge on COVID-19 infection control methods during dental procedure. Conclusion: the study concludes that participants possess sound knowledge, attitude and practice on hand hygiene, PPE, patient triage and waiting area modifications at the workplace. However, poor response was noted on the use of rubber dam, remote telephonic screening and four-handed dentistry practice.



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