Awareness and Attitudes of Dental Students to Wear a Mask during COVID-19 Pandemic: A cross-Sectional Study
Introduction: The World Health Organization has declared that the transmission rate of COVID-19 will increase due to
inappropriate use and disposal of masks. Dental students have previously shown inadequate knowledge and inappropriate
attitudes towards infection control measures.
Aim: This study aimed to investigate the dental students’ awareness and attitude in the appropriate use of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among dental students from different Saudi universities using an online self-administered questionnaire containing 23 questions.
Results: This study included 251 Saudi dental students of which 118 (47%) were females and 113 (52.9%) were males. The survey responses were provided by 139 students (55.3%) from Umm Al-Qura University, 19 students (7.5%) from Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, and 93 (37%) from other universities. Some of the findings were; 224 (89.2%) participants were found to place the white side of the mask facing out, while 27 (10.7%) participants placed the white side facing in, In response to the question, if wearing a surgical mask would protect oneself from COVID-19, 192 (76.4%) participants agreed, while 59 (23.5%) thought the opposite, About 204 (81.2%) students changed their mask with change in each patient, 47 (18.7%) students did not follow the same, In total, 42 (16.7%) students removed their masks by holding their outer surfaces but 209 (83.2%) students removed them by holding their strips.
Conclusion: The study participants had a clear understanding of COVID-19. However, few students needed training on the proper usage of face masks.