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Factors Associated with Infection-Control Behavior of Dental Health–Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior

Authors Shubayr MA, Mashyakhy M, Al Agili DE, Albar N, Quadri MF

Received 20 August 2020

Accepted for publication 25 September 2020

Published 12 November 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1527—1535


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Mosa A Shubayr,1,2 Mohammed Mashyakhy,3 Dania E Al Agili,4 Nassreen Albar,3 Mir Faeq Quadri1

1Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; 2School of Human Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; 3Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Mir Faeq Quadri
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, PO Box: 114, Jazan, 45142, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 598959409

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the extended theory of planned behavior (TPB) in predicting COVID-19-infection prevention and control (IPC) among a sample of dental health–care workers (DHCWs) in Saudi Arabia and to examine their behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs to better understand their views about COVID-19 IPC.
Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was administered among DHCWs in Saudi Arabia using convenience sampling. A questionnaire collected data on demographic characteristics and the 43 items from the TPB construct. One-way ANOVA and Independent sample t-tests were used to establish factors associated with TPB-construct scores. Multiple regression analyses with adjusted effects were used to identify significant predictors for intention from attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control variables. The significance level was set at 0.05.
Results: A total of 324 study participants completed the questionnaire for a response rate of 40.5%. The majority of respondents were male (59.8%) and aged 25– 30 years (32.7%), followed by 31– 35 years (31.2%). Only 28.4% reported having participated in IPC activities. With a mean of 41.60± 6.26), it was evident that study participants had a favorable attitudes toward COVID-19 IPC. Subjective norms and perceived behavioral control subscale scores were low, with the means of 28.95± 5.44) and 34.89± 6.49), respectively. The constructs of attitude toward behavior (p< 0.001) and subjective norms (p< 0.001) significantly predicted the DHCWs’ intention to practice COVID-19 IPC behavior, accounting for 44.3% of the variance.
Conclusion: The current study suggests that the attitudes and subjective norms of DHCWs significantly predicted their intentions regarding COVID-19 IPC behavior. As such, it is recommended that comprehensive education and training programs on infection control pertaining to COVID-19 be implemented among DHCWs in Saudi Arabia so that their attitudes and behavior toward infection prevention are amplified.

Keywords: COVID-19, infection prevention and control, oral health providers, dental health–care workers, theory of planned behavior

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