The faculties of Dentistry of the CES University and the UdeA, represented by professors Cecilia Martínez Delgado and Andrés Alonso Agudelo Suárez, professor and member of the Public Health Observatory of the CES University, were invited by Dr. Manuel Antonio Mattos, professor at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Peru , to the multicenter study on the occupational well-being of dentists in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research was carried out in 11 Latin American countries, including, in addition to Peru, the convening country, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Paraguay; in which a survey was disseminated to professionals in each country to inquire about their well-being in the context of the pandemic. The collection of the information took place from June 1 to 30, 2021.
The main purpose of the project is to identify the transformations of the dental profession, due to the adjustments that have had to be made in the practice of their profession with strict biosecurity protocols and even with limitation of activities due to the high risk of contamination, since they have direct contact with their patients. This context has produced greater stress, anxiety and uncertainty for the immediate future of dental practice, which affects the general well-being of the work and therefore increases interest in the way in which these oral health professionals are affected.
"The expectations with these results is that we believe that the well-being of dentists has been affected. There has been containment in patient demand, directly affecting economic income. The dentist begins to wonder how many patients are going to be lost?, are they going to return to the office? Our profession is an exercise that requires perseverance and dedication, and in the pandemic it has not been able to develop well, "saidDr. Cecilia María Martínez Delgado, professor at the Faculty of Dentistry of the CES University.
For the research, more than 300 surveys were collected, thus surpassing the goal of 200 surveys per country. The results of the project will be shared in different countries through forums. In Colombia, the Colombian Association of Dental Schools (ACFO) and other trade union and academic entities of the profession will be invited, with the intention of designing strategies at the level of public policy so that the dentist is not affected in his professional practice.
“I decided to participate with the survey in the research since the main objective is to observe the conditions of dentists and to know their attitudes towards the personal, social and professional. So with the results, we could come to look for strategies that help in times of stress and that take us to the limits as the pandemic has taken us", said Jeimmy Katherine Molina Barrera, a dentist at CES University.
A multicenter study creates new forms of communication that allow results that can be used for the development of other research, which respond to problems related, for example, to the affectation of economic income in quantitative terms that are produced by social and economic closures due to COVID-19.
"The Faculty of Dentistry of ces University works in network with other countries, this makes us present internationally and there is a global look at the situation of dentists in Latin America, "saidDr. Julián Emilio Vélez Ríos, dean of the Faculty of Dentistry.