eviDent Foundation investigators have embarked on a project titled 'Stress and burnout amongst Australian dental practitioners' to investigate the social, work, and mental health effects experienced by dental professionals in Australia and factors that promote good mental health and risk factors that contribute to poorer mental health. They are inviting practitioners to submit an online questionnaire as part of this.
The dental profession has long been associated with high levels of professional stress and burnout. Still, the mental health of Australian dentists has only been investigated seldom during the last several decades.
The last 18 months, in particular, have put enormous strain on dental practitioners who have had to deal with the uncertainty of an airborne virus in a work setting that frequently creates aerosols, with a higher potential of COVID-19 transmission.
Governments have limited dental services at different periods, causing increased stress for private-sector dental practitioners whose livelihoods have been interrupted, as well as moral stress for all practitioners who have been unable to offer vital health care for their patients.
Stress and burnout symptoms are likely to impact the quality of service provided by dental practitioners and may prohibit practitioners from working at all.
The eviDent Foundation wants to hear from Australian dentists on burnout, perfectionism, general health, psychological discomfort, alcohol, and recreational drug use, resilience, depression, and suicide, and relaxing and keeping healthy. To that purpose, people presently practising in Australia are encouraged to fill out an utterly anonymous computer questionnaire.
This study is expected to understand better the prevalence and effect of stress and burnout in the dentistry profession, which will assist create and targeting support services for dental workers.