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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 462-470

Evaluation of knowledge and attitude of dental students regarding COVID-19: A multicentric study

Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saumya Johri
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Faculty of Dental Sciences, King George's Medical University, Chowk, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njms.njms_472_21

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Background: Despite the life-threatening risk that corona virus disease (COVID-19) poses to dentists, their role in suppressing its transmission and the need to deliver dental care to the patients is inevitable. In this regard, it is essential to determine the awareness and knowledge among Indian dental students regarding COVID-19 and to assess their preparedness to handle the current situation. Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled 408 dental undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) students from private and government dental teaching hospitals. A closed-ended online questionnaire containing crucial elements of COVID management during dental procedures was given to the participants assessing their knowledge and perception pertaining to COVID-19 regarding dental practice. Chi-square, Mann–Whitney U, and Kruskal–Wallis tests were employed for statistical analysis. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The study consisted of 64.71% UG and 35.29% PG dental students, with a mean age of 25.75 ± 3.69 years and M: F ratio of 0.5:1. COVID-19 knowledge increased significantly with age (P = 0.0055) and educational level (P < 0.01). Awareness was also significantly greater in students from government institutions in comparison with private colleges (P < 0.001), with 91.67% of participants being aware of the transmission routes. However, familiarity with survival of virus in aerosols, considerations regarding the use of masks, and strategies for confirmed/suspected COVID-19 health-care workers to return to work after recovery were seen in only 35%, 53.9%, and 38.9% of the students, respectively. Conclusion: COVID-19 awareness among Indian dental students is significantly related to their education level. The lacunae in this knowledge need to be filled by adequate training by incorporating it as a part of their education.

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