Risk perception and readiness of dental students to treat patients amid COVID-19: Implication for dental education

Alawia, Ruwaa
Riad, Abanoub
Kateeb, Elham
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John Wiley & Sons
Dental settings have one of the highest risks of infection transmission (Jamal et al., 2020; Mohebati, Davis, & Fry, 2010). Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenge for dental students and infection control measures. Data presented here were extracted from a survey conducted among Palestinian dental students in their clinical study years to evaluate their readiness to return to dental care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 305 dental students from Al-Quds University (AQU) and Arab American University (AAU) completed the questionnaire in mid-May 2020. Thirty-four percent of the current sample (n = 103) perceived COVID-19 as very dangerous, and 84.3% (n = 257) believed that COVID-19 is a serious public health issue. Fifty-five percent (n = 168) did not consider themselves prepared for this outbreak, and 66.2% (n = 202) did not think that their outpatient clinics' infection control measures prior to COVID-19 are adequate to receive patients during this pandemic. Eighty-eight percent of the students (n = 269) admitted to fear of transmitting the virus to family and friends. This fear was mainly related to their perception that standard precautions used in dental settings are inadequate and make it unsafe to deal with patients during the current pandemic (χ2 = 50.45, p < .001). Thus, 82% of students (n = 250) preferred to avoid working with COVID-19 suspected patients. This perception
COVID-19 , dental , perception of risk , students