Knowledge, awareness and perceptions of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a cohort of indian dental professionals: A questionnaire-based study

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25241/stomaeduj.2020.7(4).art.2



Objectives COVID-19 is an unprecedented global public health emergency currently impacting heavily on India. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, awareness, perceptions of Indian dentists on COVID-19.
Methods A cross-sectional, on-line questionnaire-based study was conducted amongst 403 Indian dentists in solo, and group practices as well as academics. The self-administered questionnaire assessed 1) knowledge/awareness of factors related to COVID-19 patient identification and symptomatology, 2) knowledge/awareness of COVID-19 transmission and 3) perceptions of COVID-19 history taking procedure. Statistical analyses were conducted using Statistical Package for Social Sciences for Windows, version 21.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). Frequency distributions and logistic regression analyses were used.
Results Indian dentists demonstrated an overall modest level of knowledge on identification of patients with COVID-19. Moreover, they had a high level of awareness of the COVID-19 transmission means, and the generally accepted procedural perceptions on patient history taking. However, there were some gaps in specific aspects of knowledge and perceptions. Those who were aged ≥ 30-years had a significantly higher level of knowledge of patient identification means than those who were < 30-years (OR=1.78:1.12-2.83); p=0.01. Moreover, specialized dentists were significantly more knowledgeable of COVID-19 transmission means than general dentists (OR=1.89:1.22-2.93; p=0.004).
Conclusion Our findings demonstrate identifiable gaps in knowledge/awareness and perceptions of COVID-19 in Indian dental professionals. These gaps should be fulfilled, at the earliest, due to the rising burden of COVID-19 in India, to ensure safe dental care delivery.

COVID-19; Knowledge; Awareness; Perceptions; Indian Dentists.