Relationship among COVID-19 Fear, Clinical Practice Stress, and Professional Identity of Dental Hygiene Students

Hae Sun Kim1,*   Ji Youn Han1   Ji Na Lim1   

1Department of Dental Hygiene, Baekseok Culture University, Cheonan 31065, Korea


Objectives: This study aimed to identify the relationship between fear of contracting COVID-19, clinical practice stress, and professional identity of dental hygiene students. Methods: A survey was conducted among 160 dental hygiene students. The survey items included questions on the general characteristics of the participants, fear and anxiety related to COVID-19, clinical practice stress, and professional identity. For data analysis, stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was carried out to check the effect of COVID-19 fear and clinical practice stress on professional identity. Results: The survey found that COVID-19 fear was 2.26, clinical practice stress was 1.80, and professional identity was 3.12. Professional identity was affected by clinical practice stress(β=-0.337, p<.001), but not by COVID-19 fear. Conclusion: COVID-19 fear was positively correlated with clinical practice stress but had no significant effect on professional identity. Therefore, it is necessary to develop measures to reduce the clinical practice stress of dental hygiene students, especially in situations where there is a possibility and fear of being infected by diseases.

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