WORK DEMANDS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS AMONG DENTISTS: MEDIATION ROLE OF COVID-19- RELATED FACTORS
PURPOSE. This study was designed to explore the mediating role of fear of COVID-19 infection from patients and fear of infecting family with COVID-19 in the association between work demands and psychological distress among dental staff from different countries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS. An online self-report questionnaire was filled out by 1302 dentists from China, Italy, Israel, India and the United Kingdom. Data on basic demographics was gathered in addition to COVID-19-related questions and psychological distress scale scores.
RESULTS. Fear of contracting COVID-19 from patients was found to mediate significantly the association between work demands and psychological distress (standardized coefficient: 0.2587 (t = 9.65; p <.001)), as was fear of family contracting COVID-19 (standardized coefficient: 0.2227 (t = 8.45; p <.001)). The direct relationship between work demands and psychological distress was also found to be significant (standardized coefficient: 0.2072 (t = 8.67; p <.001)).
CONCLUSIONS. Action should be taken to mitigate the potential risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection from patients and/or transmitting COVID-19 to family members among dental professionals, as it threatens not only their physical health but also their mental health.