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Article

COVID-19 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein: A Cross-Sectional Survey among Dentists’ Awareness, Protective Measures and Economic Effects

by 1,2,*, 3 and 1,4,5
1
Department of Restorative, Preventive and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland
2
Department of Periodontology and Operative Dentistry, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
3
Swiss Dental Association SSO, CH-3000 Bern, Switzerland
4
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Experimental Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Sassari, I-07100 Sassari, Italy
5
Faculty of Dentistry, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow 119991, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239051
Received: 24 October 2020 / Revised: 1 December 2020 / Accepted: 2 December 2020 / Published: 4 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: A Public Health Approach for Health Professionals)
The aim of this observational cross-sectional study was to gain information on the awareness; protective measures and economic effects of dentists in Switzerland during the global COVID-19 pandemic. All dentist were members of the Swiss Dental Association SSO from all over Switzerland—including all Swiss cantons and Liechtenstein—and received a previously calibrated questionnaire as an ad hoc online version. The questionnaire was divided into four parts: personal data; precautionary measures; awareness; perception. In total, 1324 questionnaires were analyzed; the response rate was 30.59% (ntotal = 4328). Participants stated in less than 2% common symptoms/signs of COVID-19; of which only fatigue was statistically significant (p < 0.01). A small number of dentists reported a positive test (0.91%; n = 12) or having one or more symptoms (2.65%; n = 35) of COVID-19 during the pandemic; whereas only 6.71% (n = 87) of the participants reported having treated SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. High prevalence areas were only medium-large and large Swiss cantons (p < 0.01). Face filter (FFP2/FFP3) masks were used by about half of the dentists, while disposable visor was rarely used. The majority of dentists had to reduce the dental practice activity to a minimum of 0–10% (n = 923; 69.98%) due to the lockdown. This economic impact forced 1.4% (n = 18) to close their practice permanently or by the end of 2020 due to the economic situation. These results can be helpful to better prepare dental practices for future outbreaks of infection (e.g., prophylactic storage of additional protective measures), define the best strategy and organize the dental workforce. Political decision-makers should consider drastic economic effects when deciding on drastic measures such as “lockdown”, which can lead to practice closures and unemployment of dental staff after only a few weeks. This should be taken into account, especially with regard to possible financial assistance to severely impaired dental practices to maintain a high level of dental care. View Full-Text
Keywords: awareness; COVID-19; dentist; economic effect; global pandemic; infection control; Liechtenstein; protective measures; Switzerland awareness; COVID-19; dentist; economic effect; global pandemic; infection control; Liechtenstein; protective measures; Switzerland
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolf, T.G.; Zeyer, O.; Campus, G. COVID-19 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein: A Cross-Sectional Survey among Dentists’ Awareness, Protective Measures and Economic Effects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239051

AMA Style

Wolf TG, Zeyer O, Campus G. COVID-19 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein: A Cross-Sectional Survey among Dentists’ Awareness, Protective Measures and Economic Effects. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):9051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239051

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wolf, Thomas G., Oliver Zeyer, and Guglielmo Campus. 2020. "COVID-19 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein: A Cross-Sectional Survey among Dentists’ Awareness, Protective Measures and Economic Effects" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 23: 9051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239051

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