Aim: Worldwide healthcare professionals are experiencing constant stress during their day-to-day work due to coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Students’ anxiety tendency has also been increased due to the disturbance of education. This study aims to evaluate the anxiety and depression levels of dental hygiene students in Saudi Arabia during COVID-19 lockdown period.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the dental hygiene students in Saudi Arabia to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Questionnaire was distributed to the students, which consisted questions regarding demographics, knowledge, and fear related to COVID-19 and validated self-reported anxiety screening scale (GAD-7), to assess the psychological impact. All the data were then subjected to statistical analysis.
Results: Students from King Abdul Aziz University and Prince Sattam University showed statistically higher anxiety score when comparing the GAD-7 questions. Students whose parents were unemployed during pandemic and the students from rural area had statistically greater anxiety level when compared to others. Also, anxiety levels were found to be significantly higher among students who slightly feared contacting the disease because of their profession.
Conclusion: The present results demonstrate that dental hygiene students suffered from some form of anxiety ranging from mild anxiety to severe anxiety, reporting that they frequently felt nervous and were scared that something terrible would happen. Psychological well-being of healthcare professionals is necessary for the optimal treatment of patients.
Clinical significance: Anxiety is considered as an important factor for healthcare students that may influence negatively on their personal and academic life. Thus appropriate assessment and offering immediate treatment will prove beneficial to prevent serious consequences.
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