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Minerva Dental and Oral Science 2022 June;71(3):180-91

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6329.20.04475-1


lingua: Inglese

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental hygiene students in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna

Pierantonio BELLINI 1 , Cristina IANI 1, Giovanni ZUCCHELLI 2, Maurizio FRANCHI 3, Anna V. MATTIOLI 1, Ugo CONSOLO 1

1 Surgical, Medical, and Dental Department of Morphological Sciences Related to Transplant, Oncology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 2 Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 3 Section of Dentistry, Department of Biomedical and Surgical Specialist Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

BACKGROUND: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new coronavirus detected in China at the end of 2019. Because SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious due to contamination in the air, there is a high risk of infection in the dental environment which is represents a serious problem for professionals and students (dentistry and dental hygiene). In Italy, since February 23, 2020, the government has suspended all teaching activities of schools and universities.
METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was administered to the students of the degree courses in Dental Hygiene of the Emilia Romagna Region, one of the most affected regions in Italy. The survey was intended to highlight the practical and emotional consequences of the emergency of COVID-19 on educational activities and in the training of students.
RESULTS: The survey was sent to the 150 students enrolled in the universities of Bologna, Ferrara and Modena and Reggio Emilia; 141 of them completed it (94%). Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, several surveys have been proposed to measure the impact of this emergency situation on dental professionals; at present, however, there are still no assessments for dental hygiene degree courses, in particular aimed at assessing the psychological impact on students.
CONCLUSIONS: Students consider the dental hygienist as a risky profession, while the risk taken by patients is considered as low. Given the concern reported the students, it would be useful to address the issue of proper assessment of risk during the university training of dental hygienists.

KEY WORDS: Coronavirus; COVID-19; Surveys and questionnaires; Anxiety; Dental students

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