J Dent Educ. 2020 Sep 21. doi: 10.1002/jdd.12423. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: The current coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected most countries. Infection, Prevention, and Control training is important in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The closure of universities by the Nigerian government has hampered academic activities of dental students. Our objectives were to assess the knowledge, perception, and attitude of undergraduate dental students in Nigeria to the COVID-19 pandemic and infection control practices.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of undergraduate clinical dental students from the dental schools in Nigeria. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to participants using an online data collection platform. Correct responses to the 45-item questionnaire on COVID-19 knowledge were scored to determine their knowledge level. A Likert scale of 1-5 was used to assess the 13-item perception and attitude questions. The level of significance was set at P values ≤ 0.05.
RESULTS: A total of 102 undergraduate clinical dental students participated in the study. Males represented 54.9%, and mean age was 25.3 ± 2.4 years. Fifty percent of the students had adequate knowledge of COVID-19. Final-year students (58.1%) demonstrated more adequate knowledge of COVID-19 than penultimate-year students (28.6%, P = 0.008). Most (95.1%) respondents had positive attitudes towards infection control practices against COVID-19.
CONCLUSION: Although the clinical dental students had a positive attitude to infection control practices against COVID-19, the overall knowledge of COVID-19 was barely adequate. Guidelines on COVID-19 from reputable health authorities should be reviewed by dental school authorities and disseminated to the students to suit their clinical practice.