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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1391-1396

The Impact of Restarting the High-Risk Procedures for COVID-19 Infection in Dental Practice on the Anxiety of Dental Employees: A Study with Repeated Measures

1 Department of Endodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Yuzuncu Yil University, Van, Turkey
2 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Yuzuncu Yil University, Van, Turkey; School of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Dr. U Kirli
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Yuzuncu Yil University, Van

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_659_20

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Background: As SARS-CoV-2 is detected in the infected patients' saliva, dental employees performing aerosol-generating procedures are at high risk of being infected/spreading the infection. Aims: This study aimed to assess the impact of restarting the high-risk procedures for COVID-19 infection in dental practice during the pandemic on the anxiety levels of dental employees. Methods: All dental employees (dentists, nurses, data entry/cleaning staff) working in a university dental clinic were invited to the study and eighty-one employees (response rate: 97.5%) participated in the study. The volunteers' anxiety was measured consecutively twice with the State-Trait Anxiety Scale: First, on the day prior to restarting the high-risk procedures and the second, on the day these procedures began. Data were analyzed using t tests and the repeated measures ANOVA. Results: The state anxiety level of the dental employees increased significantly on the day that the high risk procedures were restarted (mean 42.6 vs. 49.0, d = 0.6, P < 0.001). Concerning the subgroups, the increase in state anxiety levels was significant for females (t = 3,7; d = 0,8; P < 0.001), dentists working in departments of endodontics and restorative dental care (t = 3,5; d = 0,9; P < 0.001) and nurses (t = 2,8; d = 0,9; P < 0.001). The analysis showed no significant difference in trait anxiety levels between the assessment days (mean 44.0 vs. 44.2, P = 0.9). Conclusions: Restarting the high-risk procedures for COVID-19 infection in dental practice during the pandemic seems to be an extra stressor for dental employees' who already have high anxiety levels during the pandemic.

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