Knowledge and practices of dentists regarding MERS-CoV. A cross-sectional survey in Saudi Arabia

Balgis O. Gaffar, Maha El Tantawi, Asim A. Al-Ansari, Adel S. AlAgl, Faraz A. Farooqi, Khalid M. Almas


Objectives:  To assess virus knowledge among dentists in Saudi Arabia and to identify factors associated with recommended management practices of patients. 

Method: A structured questionnaire was distributed to dentists in major Saudi cities between September 2016 and December 2017. The questionnaire investigated participants’ knowledge about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmission, consequences, patient identification and history taking practices. Data was collected using paper-based questionnaires or an online link sent to dentists registered with Saudi Dental Society nationwide. The analysis was carried using Statistical Package for Social Sciences for Windows, version 22.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA) logistic regression, odds ratio and confidence intervals to identify the relationship between variables.

Results: A total of 423 dentists responded the paper-based questionnaire. Overall the knowledge was good with gaps in history taking practices. Best management practices of MERS-CoV patients were significantly higher among dentists with better knowledge of virus transmission (odd ration [OR]=1.16, p less than 0.0001), patients’ identification (OR=1.40, p less than 0.0001) and those knowing that corona infection can be fatal (OR= 2.44, p=0.02).

Conclusion: Best management practices depends on correct patient identification. Educational campaigns should target dentists, given the unique nature of dental practice.



Saudi Med J 2019; Vol. 40 (7): 714-720
doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.7.24304

How to cite this article:
Gaffar BO, El Tantawi M, al-Ansari AA, AlAgl AS, Faroowi FA, Almas KM. Knowledge and practices of dentists regarding MERS-CoV: A cross-sectional survey in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2019; 40 (7): 714-720. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.7.24304.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus; Dentist; Saudi Arabia

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