International Journal of Biomedicine. 2023;13(1):161-167.
Originally published March 3, 2023
Background: The current pandemic of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 has affected almost all countries of the world. Dental students are exposed to a high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to direct contact with patients. Thus, the objectives of this study were to determine the knowledge, perceived risk, and preventive behaviors regarding COVID-19.
Methods and Results: A total of 157 dental students from the first to the fifth year of studies, regardless of gender, were included in this cross-sectional study. Data were collected using a questionnaire distributed to dental students at the College to ensure unbiased responses. The questionnaire, based on information provided by WHO and the CDC on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, contains sociodemographic questions and 19 questions exploring knowledge about the definition, symptoms, source of infection, routes of transmission, treatment, vaccination, and stress related to COVID-19.
Most of the dental students recognized the acronym COVID-19 (51%) and knew all the symptoms of the disease (62.4%), as well as the way of transmission (100.0%). Moreover, 85.4% of them had a lot of knowledge about the preventive measures against COVID-19, and 99.4% thought that dentists were a group at risk of infection. About 64.3% of students had been infected with COVID-19, but most of them (63.5%) were treated only with vitamins and paracetamol. Regarding vaccination, 94.9% of dental students were vaccinated: 75.8% of them had received two doses of the vaccine, 13.4% of them three doses, while 6.4% had received only one dose. A small percentage were not vaccinated at all (5.1%), and the reason for this was their allergies and fear of vaccines (42.8%). Nevertheless, several dental students felt that they did not have enough information about the vaccine and its safety (34.4%). The pandemic affected the depression of 49.0% of dental students, and a large percentage of them felt tired of the continued news about COVID-19 (91.7%).
Conclusion: The findings show a very high number of dental students who had good knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we recommend informing and educating dental students about the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of vaccination, but also about mental health care.
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Received January 15, 2023.
Accepted March 1, 2023.
©2023 International Medical Research and Development Corporation.