The Impact of COVID-19 on Orthodontic Practitioners and their Practice in Pakistan
Keywords:COVID-19, Orthodontists, Impact, Well-being, Practice, Infection
Background: The Coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing coronavirus disease epidemic that had a profound effect on the healthcare system. When the epidemic first spread widely in Pakistan in March 2020, many dental offices went on an emergency-only closure schedule. Changes were evident even after they reopened.
Objective: Primary objectives were to ascertain the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on Orthodontic practitioners and their practice in Pakistan; how their psychological and financial well-being was affected, and to bring light to the perception of Orthodontists regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on future of Orthodontists. Secondary objectives were to see if there was any difference in impact between male and female participants and Orthodontic Consultants and Orthodontic Residents.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among the Orthodontic community of Pakistan. It included 183 participants which comprised 41 Orthodontists and 142 Orthodontic Residents. A self-administered online questionnaire (Google forms) was circulated. Chi-square test was used to compare qualitative variables. P value less than or equal to 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: This study showed that 80% of the participants stopped their Orthodontic practice during the lockdown period. The majority of the practitioners had a negative impact on their psychological well-being. A significant difference was noted between male and female professionals’ responses(p=0.021). Most of the residents reported having a negative impact on their training as well.
Conclusion: The need for more training programs for infection control cannot be emphasized enough to prevent all the adverse effects caused by such outbreaks.