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Study Examines the Effect of University Closures in Bolivia During COVID-19 Pandemic on Graduates’ Self-Confidence

Alexandria, VA, USA – A study examining the effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on Bolivian dental school graduates will be presented at the 101st General Session of the IADR, which will be held in conjunction with the 9th Meeting of the Latin American Region and the 12th World Congress on Preventive Dentistry on June 21-24, 2023, in Bogotá, Colombia.

The Interactive Talk presentation, “Covid–19 Pandemic Effects on Graduates’ Self Confidence to Execute Dental Clinical Procedures,” will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 2 p.m. Colombia Time (UTC-05:00) during the “Attitude and Evidence” session.

The study by Rodrigo Paolo Flores Abuna of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, São Paolo, Brazil, collected data from graduates in 2020 and 2021, when the lockdown imposed by Bolivian authorities was ongoing. It was then compared with graduates from 2017, 2018, and 2019. The online survey was filled out by 406 graduates. Participants rated their levels of self-confidence from 0 to 5 to test three abilities. 

The study determined that 1) the relationship between patient and diagnosis was not affected in private (p=0.079) or public (p=0.350) dental schools; 2) non-surgical procedures remained without a difference in private (p=0.172) and public (p=0.406) schools; and 3) self-confidence in performing surgical or invasive procedures increased in private (p=0.016) and decreased (p=0.016) in public schools. 

Focusing then on public dental schools, the study found a positive association of self-confidence reduction with early closure of clinical practices (p=0.008), virtual learning (p=0.041), the adaptation of faculty to virtual learning (p=0.043), and fear of contagion (p=0.001). Moreover, it identified that measures like vaccination, early diagnosis of COVID-19, new viral therapies, advances in scientific research, and improvement of biosafety positively recovered self-confidence (p=0.001).

About IADR
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. IADR represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, and students based in academic, government, non-profit and private-sector institutions who share our mission. Learn more at