Evolution of New Oral Health Care Practices in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Lesson Learned From National Survey
Author(s): Saroj Prasad Deo, Dharanidhar Baral
The COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease-19) outbreak has challenged dental and oral health care workers and their practices and has evoked different speeds of reaction and types of response worldwide. This survey aimed to document the early effect of the pandemic on dental and oral health care workers, their response to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, the evolution of practices, and learn lessons for future health policies in similar situations in the future.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was designed and conducted via Google form from 24 June 2020 to 13 July 2020 among Nepal's dental and oral healthcare workers after getting ethical approval from Nepal Health Research Council (Reg 445/2020P / Ref No 2710). The study questionnaire was developed in 4 domains: first, general demographics; second, personal impact; third, professional impact and fourth, the academic impact of COVID-19. In addition, Chi-square test was used to show the relationship between variables.
Of 133 respondents, 18.8% exposure risk and 14.3% infection rate were found among dental and oral health care workers of Nepal; a higher exposure rate was unmarried (ER, 21.4%), senior residents (ER, 50%), female (ER, 19.6%), 20-29 years (ER, 16%), the Lumbini province (ER, 50%). Only 50(37.6%) of them had a provision for testing. The majority of participants exhibited some COVID-19 symptoms. As a result, 48.2% of DOHCWs have entirely closed their all-clinical activities. Rapidly, they gained knowledge, attitude and practice about COVID19.
Pandemic adversely affects personal, practice and academic lives of dental and oral health care workers. The timeliness of COVID-19 affects tightly interconnected processes is a clear lesson that we have learnt, and that shall be maintained even in the future to allow better advancement of science and optimal patient engagement, safety, empowerment and care.