Saudi Dental Graduates Educational Experiences and Awareness about Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Prevention
Author(s): Hebah M Hamdan*
Introduction: The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) is high among dental professionals. Early training on MSDs prevention during undergraduate studies could mitigate the incidence of work-related MSDs among dental practitioners. Aim: This study aimed to shed light on the awareness of Saudi dental graduates regarding work-related MSDs and their prevention as well as the education received regarding this topic during undergraduate dental training. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was carried out among all dental interns who graduated from dental schools in Saudi Arabia in 2019. Through the survey, data about participants’ demographics, previous education on work-related MSDs prevention, and awareness levels on work-related MSDs and their prevention were obtained. Results: 889 dental interns were enrolled in this study. Only 343 (40%) reported having received training on work-related MSDs prevention during undergraduate studies. Most participants were aware that work-related musculoskeletal disorders might affect dental professionals 629 (73%). However, almost half of them (45.3%) reported a lack of awareness of the possible work-related MSDs preventive techniques, and 64% reported a lack of awareness of the available treatments for work-related MSDs. Three in every four respondents (73.4%) recognized that undergraduate education should dedicate more time to educating dental students about work-related MSDs prevention. Conclusion: Our study showed that education about work-related MSDs prevention provided for dental students in Saudi Arabia is still suboptimal. MSDs prevention-focused curricular changes are necessary to enable future dental professionals to prevent and manage work-related MSDs more effectively.