Knowledge of Dental Academics about the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multi-Country Online Survey
Background COVID-19 is a global pandemic affecting all aspects of life in all countries. We assessed COVID-19 knowledge and associated factors among dental academics in various countries. Method We invited dental academics to participate in a cross-sectional, multi-country, online survey from March to April 2020. The survey assessed knowledge of COVID-19 regarding the mode of transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, protection, and dental treatment precautions as well as participants'
... round variables. The analysis was based on multilevel linear models to assess the association between knowledge and factors at individual levels (personal and professional) and country-level (number of COVID-19 cases/ million population), accounting for random variation among countries. Results Two thousand forty-five academics from 26 countries participated in the survey (response rate= 14.3%, with 54.7% female and 67% younger than 46 years of age). The mean (SD) knowledge percent score was 73.2% (11.2), and the knowledge of symptoms score was significantly lower than the diagnostic methods score (53.1% and 85.4%). Knowledge was significantly higher among those living with partner/spouse than those living alone (regression coefficient (B)= 0.48); those with PhD than those with BDS (B= 0.48), those seeing 21 to 30 patients daily than those seeing no patients (B= 0.65) and those from countries with a higher number of COVID-19 cases/million population (B= 0.0007). Conclusions Dental academics had poorer knowledge of COVID-19 symptoms than diagnostic methods. Living arrangements, academic degrees, patient load, and magnitude of epidemic in the country were associated with COVD-19 knowledge among dental academics. COVID-19 training can be designed using these factors to target academics with the greatest need.