Objectives: The spread of COVID-19 has posed significant challenges for dental professionals worldwide. The aims of the present study were twofold: (i) to study the attitudes, emotional responses, and worries among the dental personnel; and (ii) to look for the ability of dental personnel to experience posttraumatic self-growth as a result of the distress caused by the pandemic. Method and materials: A cross-sectional online survey using an anonymous questionnaire was performed simultaneously in Israel, Canada, and France during the initial lockdown period.
Keywords: COVID-19, dental, pandemic, posttraumatic growth, wellbeing
Results: Israeli dental practitioners were less worried about their physical health, mental health, or relationships with family and friends than their Canadian and French counterparts. The Canadian dental practitioners were most committed and most willing to treat their patients, as well as most concerned about not being able to treat patients in the same personal way as before the lockdown. French dental practitioners showed the highest level of fear to treat patients. There were no differences in dental practitioners’ levels of anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic growth among the countries. Dental practitioners’ posttraumatic growth was significantly associated with worries regarding their physical health.
Conclusion: Responses of dental personnel to the COVID-19 pandemic varied worldwide. Despite the differences, evidence exists that some of the dental practitioners’ worries and concerns are associated with psychologic growth as a result of the pandemic. Better understanding and acknowledgment of dental personnel’s worries and concerns can facilitate growth and enable positive functioning under the continuous situation of uncertainty.