10.7% of dental professionals reported depression symptoms during COVID-19 peaks: study

Dental professionals reported higher rates of anxiety and depression during peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

The study was conducted from June 2020 to June 2021. Each month during that period, 8,902 dental professionals participated in a survey used to estimate rates of anxiety and depression symptoms. Changes in mental health, demographic and practice characteristic differences, COVID-19 community transmission level and COVID-19 vaccination status were analyzed.

The study found that 17.7 percent of dental professionals reported having anxiety symptoms and 10.7 percent reported depression symptoms; in addition 8.3 percent of respondents reported symptoms of both. Dental hygienists reported higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to dentists each month during the survey period.

Dental professionals' anxiety symptoms spiked in November 2020 while their depression symptoms peaked in December of the same year. Those living in states and during periods with high levels of COVID-19 transmission had higher chances of anxiety and depression than those living in lower transmission areas, according to the study.

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