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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309369


Background: COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease-19) outbreak is an alarming situation for all health care workers. Dental and oral health care workers (DOCHWs) are invariably at a higher risk of getting infected or transmitting disease due to the nature and duration of work. The objective is to determine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nepalese dental and oral health care workers and their practices. Methods A cross-sectional observational, online survey was designed and conducted via Google form from 24 June 2020 to 13 July 2020 among DOHCWs of Nepal. The study tool developed after reviewing pertinent literature and international guidelines. Results A total of 51.9% were aged 20 to 29 years, 61.7% were male, 52.6% were single;92.5% had no morbidity. Of the respondents, majority 60.2% of DOCHWs were working in routine duties on the COVID-19 crisis. They reduced their current practice to before the pandemic;48.2 % of them working less than 20 hours per week, while only 10.5 % of them working more than 40 hours per week. Moreover, 73.7% performed only selective or lesser procedure;18% closed dental practices / stayed home;only 1.5% worked more;6.8% shifted practice to online (teledentistry). The majority of the respondents restricted their activity to an emergency (21%) and urgent procedures (22.7%). A considerable proportion of participants reported symptoms of depression (21.9%), anxiety (24.2%), and distress (8.4%). Bivariate analysis showed a statistically significant level of satisfaction with logistic support provided by the administrative agency in the different workplace (oral health service centre) with relation to the availability of masks other than N95, N99 (p = 0.04), availability of PPEs (p = 0.06) and facility of cleaning area (p = 0.01). Conclusion The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among DOHCWs is widespread and adversely affect the personal, professional and academic lives of DOHCWs of Nepal. The participants reported experiencing psychological burden, precipitated by financial burden and worries about an uncertain future.