Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on psychological well-being of undergradute dental students in KSAU-HS, Riyadh, Saudi arabia

Background: The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has affected worldwide. The exceptionally infectious nature of the sickness and its deadly results prompted changes in way of life for so many people. Dental schools were converting their traditional teaching to online teaching in during coronavirus pandemic. Lecturers, clinical instructors and dental students are facing a real challenge with coronavirus pandemic that affected their educational cycle. COVID-19 caused international fears to dental staff community; it will lead intense anxiety which might negatively affect their psychological well-being. An overthinking of the dental student about their future plan careers during the current health crisis will cause tension, frustration, depression and anxiety.

Aim: To measure and compare the psychological stress level among dental students during the COVID-19 pandemic at Dental college in King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was selected to achieve the objectives of this study, this option was according to the majority of the studies on the subject of impact of COVID-19 on psychological well-being of dental students with using validated questionnaire named Psychological Stress Measure (PSM-9). The survey will be performed using a self-report questionnaire to measure the psychological stress level of dental students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our sample will be male and female dental students (n=406) selected randomly among those enrolled in the College of Dentistry at King Saud bin Abdelaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) for this academic year 2020-2021Results: 78% 0f the total participants felt the stress, 63% did not seem to have enough time, 53% were worried, 50% felt great weight on their shoulders, 22% had difficulty controlling their reaction and emotions, 21% felt full of energy and keen (+ behaviour), 21% felt confused and lacked concentration and cannot focus, 19% felt calm (+ behaviour), 11% felt pain, headache, back pain and stomach ache.

Conclusion: All participants showed various level of stress, however, it is very clear that among clinical training students compared to preclinical training students although there is no significant difference between them. The pressure on clinical student may be due shortage of the availability of suitable patients to complete their clinical and graduation requirements, while the university environment (Online study) for the newly accepted student will cause that type of stress since most of their study will be online.

Author(s): Abdullah Al-Hussain

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