Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the University of British Columbia Geriatric Dentistry Program: Clinical education and service

This article was originally published here

Gerodontology. 2021 Sep 27. doi: 10.1111/ger.12591. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: In Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with significant morbidity and mortality in older adults, particularly those in long-term care (LTC). Access to oral health services was limited during the pandemic due to public health restrictions. The aim of this paper was to describe the impact of the pandemic on the clinical education and service of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Geriatric Dentistry Program (GDP), which provides care to LTC residents.

METHODS: Data were collected from UBC GDP AxiUm dental software records, including number of dental appointments in 2019 and 2020. Data on revenue in 2019 and 2020 based on clinical production were collected through financial summary reports. Data on the number of educational rotations were collected from summary reports from scheduling software.

RESULTS: In 2020, significant reductions in clinical service, revenue, and productivity were observed in the UBC GDP relative to 2019. The number of GDP appointments for June-December 2020 was lower by 68%. The clinical productivity reduced by 67% for the same period. Expenses were slightly reduced. The overall number of LTC clinical rotations for students were only slightly lower for undergraduate students in 2020 than in 2019, and it increased for graduate students.

CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions had a negative impact on the clinical service and productivity of the UBC GDP in 2020 relative to 2019. However, clinical educational rotations to LTC were slightly increased in 2020 relative to 2019. Dental care for LTC residents can be provided if rigorous administrative controls, engineering controls and personal protective equipment are employed.

PMID:34580910 | DOI:10.1111/ger.12591