Despite using biosafety protocols, dentists fear contracting COVID-19 and face economic uncertainties about their professional future caused by the pandemic.


This study aimed at determining the prevalence of anxiety and identifying factors associated with it among dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil.


A cross-sectional study involving 408 Brazilian dental surgeons selected by snowball technique who filled an electronic questionnaire about sex, race, dental specialty, health habits, health-related quality of life, anxiety, and COVID-19-related aspects. Symptoms of anxiety were measured by the Beck anxiety inventory, and health-related quality of life was assessed by the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire. Poisson regression was used to obtain estimates of adjusted prevalence ratios.


The prevalence rate of anxiety was found to be 27.5% and it was significantly higher among dentists who were afraid of catching COVID-19 (Prevalence Ratio=PR=2.52), and among those who reported sweating, wheezing, and increased heart rate during work (PR=3.67). Afro-American dentists were 48% more anxious than dentists belonging to the white/yellow race. The mean value of the quality of life of anxious dentists compared to non-anxious dentists was 13% lower in the physical domain, 12% lower in the psychological domain, and 7% higher in the social relationship domain.


The prevalence of anxiety among Brazilian dentists, in the context of economic uncertainty and social distance imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, is high and associated with the fear of contracting the disease, physical symptomatology of stress, being Afro-American, and altered quality of life in the physical, psychological, and social relationships domains.

Keywords: Anxiety, COVID-19, Dentists, Quality of life, Mental health, Occupational stress.
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