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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2018 Mar-Apr;8(2):137-144. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_9_18. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Knowledge and Attitude of Dental Health Professionals about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, Division of Community Dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Deanship of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Aim and Objective:

This study aims to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of practicing dental health professionals (DHPs) (dentist and dental auxiliaries) toward Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia.

Materials and Methods:

A cross-sectional descriptive study was undertaken among practicing DHPs in Saudi Arabia. A total of 202 DHPs participated in this study. Knowledge and attitude were assessed using self-administered and pretested questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered online through Survey Monkey® program by sending link to the registered E-mail. Descriptive statistics were performed on demographic data. Mean knowledge and mean attitude scores of DHPs were calculated. Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to disclose the differences between study variables. Chi-square tests and Spearman's correlation tests were applied to find the associations between the variables.


The study participants showed mean knowledge score of 12.26 ± 2.27 (based on 17 knowledge questions) and attitude score of 8.63 ± 1.68 (based on 10 attitude questions). The spearman's test showed the positive correlation between knowledge and attitude of DHPs about MERS (r = 0.093, P = 0.188). Knowledge gaps were reflected in questions related to the duration of infectivity (47.5%), treatment of MERS (39.6%), reservoir of MERS-CoV (38.1%), availability of vaccination against MERS-CoV (25.2%), the likelihood of infection (24.3%), and the type of MERS-CoV (23.3%). DHPs showed a positive attitude toward adherence to universal precautions given by CDC and WHO (0.94 ± 0.25), active participation infection control program (0.94 ± 0.24), and use of gowns, gloves, mask, and goggles while dealing with MERS-CoV patients (0.97 ± 0.17). Male DHPs showed significantly higher knowledge and positive attitude toward MERS-CoV infection compared to females.


DHPs participated in this study showed good knowledge and positive attitude toward MERS. However, still few lacunae in the knowledge and attitudes toward MERS-CoV were found requiring extensive educational programs.


Attitude; coronavirus; dental professionals; knowledge; middle east respiratory syndrome

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