Evaluation of Knowledge and Practices of Cross Infection Control Among Dental Practitioners of Peshawar Region
Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge and practices of dental clinicians regarding cross infection control.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we used a self-administered, standardized questionnaire consisting of mix closed-ended and open-ended questions which were designed to assess the dental practitioners’ knowledge of cross infection control. The questionnaire was filled and returned by 219 participants. Data was analysed using Microsoft Excel 2016.
Results: In the current study, 54.3% of participants considered it important to have knowledge of transmissible infections. Handwashing, use of gloves and mask were considered important by 58.8%, 58% and 61.6% of the participants, respectively. Protective eyewear and clothes were used by 54.3% and 56.2% of study participants, respectively. Isolation methods and disposal of sharps in puncture proof container were considered important by 59.8% and 56.2% of study participants. Washing hands before and after seeing a patient was always practiced by 42% and 59% of study participants. Disinfecting clinic surfaces and dental chair consistently before or after seeing a patient were practiced by less than half of the participants. Interestingly, 47.5% of the participants used one mask throughout the clinical session while 61.2% claimed that they always replaced torn gloves. Only 41.1% of clinicians always used eyewear as a part of personal protective equipment. Moreover, less than 50% of study participants always disinfected impressions and other lab work and flushed hand pieces before use. In contrast, majority of the dentists returned instrument trays. Hepatittis B, influenza, measles and tetanus vaccinations were done by 91.3%, 57%, 71.2%, 70% of the study participants, respectively.
Conclusions: We conclude that there are critical deficiencies in the knowledge and practices of dental clinicians of Peshawar region regarding cross infection control. This can expose dentists and their patients to potentially life-threatening infections.