Knowledge of and attitudes toward severe acute respiratory syndrome among a cohort of dental patients in Hong Kong following a major local outbreak.Community Dent Health. 2007 Mar; 24(1):43-8.CD
To assess the knowledge of and attitudes toward severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) among patients attending a teaching dental hospital and private dental practices in Hong Kong during a major local SARS outbreak.
250 dental patients were interviewed by questionnaire and 213 were interviewed by phone.
Less than one-third (30.0%) of the 463 respondents said they were not afraid of contracting the SARS coronavirus from their dentists and did not avoid dental treatment for that reason. Nearly three-fifths (56.7%) did not worry about contracting SARS from dental treatment. Fewer than 10% of the respondents thought that dentists ran a high risk of contracting SARS. From the patients' experiences, 85.2% and 21.7% of the dentists wore face masks and face shields, respectively, when delivering dental treatment.
The majority of patients interviewed had confidence in their dentists, their treatment environments, and the infection control measures taken, and were not worried about contracting SARS in the dental setting. This perception is an improvement from that described in an earlier study, in which more than half of the patients were concerned about contracting an infection during dental treatment and perceived that the infection control measures undertaken by the dental profession to prevent infectious diseases were not satisfactory. Patients, however, demanded better infection control measures during the SARS outbreak.