Academic perspectives and psychosocial aspects of final-year dental students during COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:Anxiety, Depression, Pandemics, Students, dental
Aim: This cross-sectional observational study aimed to evaluate the influence of the Universities lockdown measures on academic perspectives and psychosocial aspects of Brazilian finalyear dental students. Methods: 268 undergraduate students regularly enrolled in a Dentistry course at public universities were asked about anxiety, depression, stress sensitivity, and their academic perspectives by using an online survey. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to measure anxiety and depression, while the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) evaluated stress levels. The academic perspective was evaluated by five affirmatives regarding possible difficulties that will be faced when school reopens and after graduation. The possible association between fear of having COVID-19 with psychosocial outcomes and COVID-19 association with academic perspectives were analyzed by ANOVA and chisquare tests, respectively, considering a significance level of 5%. Results: Considering possible associations between the fear of having COVID-19 and psychosocial aspects, significant values were found for anxiety (P = 0.018) and stress sensitivity (P = 0.002). Regarding students’ academic perspectives, COVID-19 had significant impact on less opportunity to perform procedures (P = 0.023), additional expenses with personal protective equipment (P = 0.007), and concerns of consulting elderly people (P = 0.012). Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased psychological impairments and enlarged concerns with learning and biosecurity, which might impact academic perspectives. Thus, being aware of these apprehensions, university professors and staff can improve the clinical training of final-year dental students in an empathetic way.
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