1 Department of Dental Public Health and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
The recent outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) has affected millions of lives in different countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Due to the characteristics of dental practice settings, there is a high risk of infection transmission between patients and dentists.
The aim of this study was to assess the level of public knowledge, attitude and practice regarding COVID-19 and infection control when visiting a dentist.
In April 2020, a web-based cross-sectional survey was distributed randomly among the public through social media platforms. A validated anonymous questionnaire was used to assess knowledge about COVID-19 and participants’ attitudes toward extra measures to prevent the spread of infection.
Among the completed questionnaires (N=521), the mean age of the participants was 36.24 years, 68.3% were women, 87.5% held a university degree, and 81% were from the Makkah region. Most of the participants (99%) obtained a good knowledge score regarding COVID-19. Women were more likely than men to have more knowledge (p<0.05). Nearly all of the participants (99.6%) demonstrated good attitudes towards precautionary measures in dental clinics.
Spearman’s rho test showed a statistically significant correlation between age and attitude score, suggesting that attitude score increased with age (p<0.05). Overall, 73.3% reported that they would maintain good hygiene practices when visiting a dentist during this pandemic.
Most Saudi residents with a high education level are knowledgeable about COVID-19, hold promising attitudes, and have appropriate practices towards precautionary measures needed while visiting a dental clinic during the virus outbreak.
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