Original Research

Fear of COVID-19 among oral health professionals in South Africa

Siphokazi M. Matomane, David P. Motloba
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 29 | a2619 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v29i0.2619 | © 2024 Siphokazi M. Matomane, David P. Motloba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 February 2024 | Published: 31 May 2024

About the author(s)

Siphokazi M. Matomane, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Tshwane, South Africa
David P. Motloba, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Tshwane, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused widespread psychological morbidity, especially among frontline workers. Oral health professionals (OHPs) are at increased risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19 because pf their proximity to infected patients. The objective of this study was to measure the level of COVID-19 fear and its predictors among South African OHPs.

Aim: To evaluate the severity of fear of COVID-19 among OHPs in South Africa.

Setting: Online platforms.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a Google Forms-based online survey was conducted. The fear scale of COVID-19 (FCV-19S) was used to assess the level of fear among OHPs. Statistical data analysis was performed using SPSS 28.0. The multivariate logistic regression model was developed to assess the predictors of COVID-19 fear.

Results: A total of 462 OHPs participated in this study. Approximately half of the participants, 212 (45.6%), indicated having severe fear of COVID-19. The regression model showed a significant association between COVID-19 fear and increased age, clinical experience, employment sector, professional group, positive COVID-19 test and COVID-19 vaccination.

Conclusion: The results indicate that South African OHPs had low levels of corona phobia. Females, older and vaccinated OHPs had the greatest odds of COVID-19 fear.

Contribution: This study provides insights into the severity of fear and anxiety experienced by OHPs in the time of the pandemic. The findings will aid in the development of appropriate interventions and programmes to deal with similar outbreaks in the future.


Keywords

COVID-19; pandemic; fear; oral health professionals; South Africa.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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