Background: Dental staff were characterized with the tolerance of enduring stress and they are at a high risk to respiratory infectious disease. This study compared the anxiety level of the frontline dental staff (FDS) to the general public in Yichang during the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and examined potential explanatory factors to the differences.
Methods: Two online questionnaires were used separately to collect data from FDS and the general public. The Chinese version of Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) was included for the assessment of anxiety. Firstly, a Chi-square test was conducted to compare the anxiety state between these two groups. Then, a bivariate analysis using Cramer’s V and Eta squared was conducted to find the potential factors. Lastly, a binary logistic regression was performed to examine the association between potential factors and the anxiety state of FDS.
Results: In general, FDS were 4.342 (95% CI: 2.427-7.768) times more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders than the general public. The bivariate analysis showed that age, Level Three Protective Measures (PM-3), conflicts with patients and/or colleagues were moderately associated with the anxiety state of FDS. But the knowledge of COVID-19, the treatment to suspected or confirmed cases both had a weak association with the anxiety among FDS. Conversely, workload, the exposure to potential infectious substance and conducting aerosol generated performance were not significantly related to the anxiety of FDS. As the model indicated, an elder age and PM-3 protective measures could lower the anxiety state of FDS, whereas the conflict with patients or/and colleagues would worsen it.
Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, FDS were more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders than the general public. An elder age, sufficient personal protective measures and good relationships with colleagues and patients would help them to maintain good mental health.