RESEARCH ARTICLE


Anxiety among Brazilian Dentists During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study



Arthur Igor Cruz Lima1
iD
, Fernando Martins Carvalho1
iD
, Marcos Vinicius de Santana Silva2
iD
, Juliane Kely Fagundes Silva2
iD
, Carolina Franco de Azevedo1
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, Liliane Lins-Kusterer1, *
iD

1 Postgraduate Programme in Health, Environment, and Health, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
2 Postgraduate Programme in Collective Health, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Lima et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Postgraduate Programme in Health, Environment, and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, Largo do Terreiro de Jesus, s/n - Centro Histórico, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil 40.026-010; Tel: 55.71.992700660; E-mail: lkusterer@gmail.com


Abstract

Background:

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

Objective:

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

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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.