COMMUNITY DENTISTRY

Sri Lankan dental professionals’ knowledge of the Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID-19): a questionnaire survey

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25241/stomaeduj.2021.8(1).art.1

Ruwan Duminda Jayasinghe1a* , Rasika Manori Jayasinghe2b , Pilana Vithanage Kalani Shihanika Hettiarrachchi1c , Lakshman Perera Samaranayake3d

1Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, 20400 Sri Lanka
2Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, 20400 Sri Lanka
3Department of Oral Biosciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

aBDS, MS, Professor, Chair; e-mail: ruwanja@dental.pdn.ac.lk; ORCIDiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8054-4301
bBDS, MS, Senior Lecturer, Head; e-mail: manorija@dental.pdn.ac.lk; ORCIDiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5878-4985
cBDS, MD, Senior Lecturer; e-mail: kalaniz2004@yahoo.com; ORCIDiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2618-5050
dDSc, DDS (Glas), FRCPath, FDSRCS(Edin), FRACDS, FDS RCPS (Glas), FHKCPath, FCDSHK, Professor Emeritus; e-mail: lakshman@hku.hk; ORCIDiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9122-336X

 

Abstract

Background Dental practitioners are some of the most vulnerable professionals exposed to the risk of contracting the Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID-19), by virtue of the aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Hence, an evidence based and detailed knowledge of the disease is important in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 transmission.
Aim To identify the perspective, knowledge, and attitudes of Sri Lankan dental surgeons on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods An online web-based, self-administered questionnaire survey (Google) was conducted among Sri Lankan dental surgeons. All questions, in the pre-tested questionnaire were close-ended, and formulated to elicit data on the views, knowledge, attitudes, and infection control practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results One quarter of the cohort responded and the majority (44.7%) were 30-40 years old with a marginal female preponderance (52.3%). In general, females were significantly more knowledgeable than males on COVID-19, and the post-pandemic preparedness for dental practice (p<0.05). One sixth (18.2 %) incorrectly surmised that, i) pet animals were a source of infection, ii) COVID-19 is not transmitted via surface contact and iii) hand hygiene is not important in preventing infection transmission. All respondents correctly identified AGPs as a high-risk procedure for infection transmission, but approximately two thirds failed to identify specific AGPs in dentistry.
Conclusion Taken together, the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Sri Lankan dental surgeons on the COVID-19 pandemic appear satisfactory, but there are knowledge gaps that need to be fulfilled through further continuous education courses.

Keywords: COVID 19; Dental Practice; Knowledge; Dental Surgeons.

 

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