The Socio-economic and Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Malaysian Private Dentists: An Exploratory Study


  • Kai Chyuen Neoh Faculty of Dentistry, Lincoln University College
  • Azman Abdul Salim Faculty of Dentistry, Lincoln University College
  • Rahimah Abdul Kadir Faculty of Dentistry, Lincoln University College; University Malaya Centre for Addiction Sciences
  • Haryati Ahmad Hairi Faculty of Medicine, Manipal University College Malaysia



COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysian Private Dentists, Psychological Impact, socio-economic


The global COVID-19 Pandemic combined with nationwide economic depression and public fear had caused dental clinics in Malaysia to experience a significant reduction in patient visits with a potential impact on the socio-economic and psychological status of Malaysian private dentists. This study assesses the socio-economic and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Malaysian private dentists. A cross-sectional online questionnaire included demographic profile, socioeconomic factors and psychological status was used. Participation was voluntary. Descriptive statistics on the three variables were generated. Pearson Chi-square test was used to check for significant difference (p<0.05). In all, 95 private dentists voluntarily participated. Male and female participants were equally represented, mostly in the 22-25 group (62%). The Job Insecurity Scale measurement showed 58% and 48.5% participants respectively, were socio-economically and psychologically affected. The Financial Threat Scale showed 44.4% of respondents were financially affected, while 51% (measured by the General health questionnaire) displayed affected health. The socio-economic-psychological aspect was found to be statistically significant (p =0.018). Within the limitation of sample size, participating private dentists were found to be socio-economically and psychologically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Download data is not yet available.


Wang C, Horby PW, Hayden FG, Gao GF. A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. The Lancet. 2020;395(10223):470-473. 2021. Covid 19 Cases In The World - Google Search. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 5 January 2021].

Google search 2022 (online). Available at: Covid19.who.int [Accessed 8 September 2022].

Google search 2022 (online) {assessed 8 September 2022]

Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, Qu J, Gong F, Han Y, Qiu Y, Wang J, Liu Y, Wei Y, Yu T. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. The Lancet. 2020;395(10223):507-513.

Russell B, Moss C, Rigg A, Hopkins C, Papa S, Van Hemelrijck M. Anosmia and ageusia are emerging as symptoms in patients with COVID-19: What does the current evidence say?. ecancermedicalscience. 2020;14.

Peng X, Xu X, Li Y, Cheng L, Zhou X, Ren B. Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice. Int J Oral Science. 2020;12(1):1-6.

Saqib Ali, Imran Farooq, Maha Abdelsalam, Jehan AlHumaid. Current Clinical Dental Practice Guidelines and the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Dental Care Providers. Eur J Dent. 2020;14(suppl S1):S140–S145

Müller A, Melzow FS, Göstemeyer G, Paris S, Schwendicke F. Implementation of COVID-19 Infection Control Measures by German Dentists: A Qualitative Study to Identify Enablers and Barriers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(11):5710.

Bastani P, Mohammadpour M, Ghanbarzadegan A, Kapellas K, Do LG. Global concerns of dental and oral health workers during COVID-19 outbreak: a scope study on the concerns and the coping strategies. Systematic reviews. 2021; 10(1):1-9.

Westgarth D. Mental health in dentistry: Has the profession opened up through the years? BDJ In Pract. 2022;35(6):18–22.

Owen C, Seddon C, Clarke K, Bysouth T, Johnson D. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of dentists in Wales. British Dental Journal. 2022; 232(1):44-54.

Shacham M, Hamama-Raz Y, Kolerman R, Mijiritsky O, Ben-Ezra M, Mijiritsky E. COVID-19 Factors and Psychological Factors Associated with Elevated Psychological Distress among Dentists and Dental Hygienists in Israel. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(8):2900.

Ahmadi H, Ebrahimi A, Ghorbani F. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on dental practice in Iran: a questionnaire-based report. BMC Oral Health. 2020; ;20(1):1-9.

Vander Elst T, De Witte H, De Cuyper N. The Job Insecurity Scale: A psychometric evaluation across five European countries. Eur J Work Organizational Psych. 2014;23(3):364-380.

Marjanovic Z, Greenglass ER, Fiksenbaum L, Bell CM. Psychometric evaluation of the Financial Threat Scale (FTS) in the context of the great recession. J Econ Psych. 2013;36:1-10.

Hankins M. The reliability of the twelve-item general health questionnaire (GHQ-12) under realistic assumptions. BMC Public Health. 2008;8(1):1-7.

Cavalcanti YW, Silva RO, Ferreira LD, Lucena EH, Souza AM, Cavalcante DD, Meneghim MD, Pereira AC. Economic impact of new biosafety recommendations for dental clinical practice during COVID-19 pandemic. Pesquisa Brasileira em Odontopediatria e Clínica Integrada. 2020; 31;20.

Mahdee AF, Gul SS, Abdulkareem AA, Qasim SSB. Anxiety, Practice Modification, and Economic Impact Among Iraqi Dentists During the COVID-19 Outbreak. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020;7:595028.

Ahmed MA, Jouhar R, Ahmed N, Adnan S, Aftab M, Zafar MS, Khurshid Z. Fear and Practice Modifications among Dentists to Combat Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(8):2821.

Kar A, Bhaumik U, Nigam H, Rao VU. Challenges and mental health issues faced by dental health care personnel during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond− the way ahead. J Oral Med Oral Surg. 2020;26(4):22-24.

Patel N. Impact on Dental Economics and Dental Healthcare Utilization in [Internet]. SAGE Journals. 2020 [cited 2022Sep.4]. Available from:

Ross Scales. Financial and workforce impacts on dentistry will continue to be felt for some time. blogs/blog/detail/blogs/2021/03/11/ sourced on 15 February 2022






Original/Research Article