Dong Q, Kuria A, Weng Y, Liu Y, Cao Y
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol - (-) - [2021-07-16; online 2021-07-16]
The impact of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic on the dental community is evident. Dental education programmes and academic activities have suffered from the ramifications of the pandemic. This study aimed to depict the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic on the clinical services and academic activities in the department of stomatology of a tertiary hospital in Wuhan, China. We obtained historical data of the Department of Stomatology from the Health Information System of the General Hospital of Central Theater Command, Wuhan, China between January 2018 and June 2020. Mean, standard deviation and median with interquartile range were used to summarize the variables. Line plots were used to illustrate the temporal trend. The Kruskal-Wallis equality-of-populations rank test was used to compare the difference between groups. A significant decrease was noted in the monthly average number of patients seeking outpatient services for the year 2020, which were decreased by two-thirds from 2018 to 2020. The number of emergency cases also decreased significantly by 57.6% in 2020. The monthly number of teaching hours decreased from 3.8 ± 1.5 in 2018 and 4.7 ± 1.4 in 2019 to 1.7 ± 1.9 in 2020. The number of interns also decreased by more than 77.0% in 2020. The impacts of COVID-19 in the stomatology clinic were significant with notable decreases in clinical services and education offered to the stomatology students. There is a need to find solutions to keep as many dental professionals as needed remaining on the frontline of oral health care.