Perception of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on dental researchers

Grace M. De Souza, Tamanna Tiwari, Christopher H. Fox, Patricia A. Miguez, Ariadne Letra, Maria L. Geisinger, Mangala Patel, Luciana Shaddox, Effie Ioannidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/objectives: Historical evidence shows a gender-based disproportionate effect of pandemics across different populations. In 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began spreading its devastating effects worldwide. The goal of the present study was to investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on research productivity, work-life arrangements, and mental health of dental professionals worldwide with focus on gender differences. Methods: A 38-item survey, concerning demographics, career stage, employer support, family structure, mental health, and relationships, was distributed to 7692 active members of the International Association for Dental Research. Bivariate associations between independent variables and the primary outcome variable were tested using Spearman's correlation test. A logistic regression model was used to assess the simultaneous, independent associations between each variable and researcher productivity. Results: A total of 722 responses were obtained, indicating a 9.4% response rate. Higher productivity was reported by male respondents (p = 0.021), and by those in senior career stages (p = 0.001). Institutional support was associated with higher productivity (p < 0.0001). Lower productivity was reported by younger researchers (p = 0.003). Remote work negatively affected productivity (p < 0.0001) and female respondents reported working more hours, regardless of work location (p = 0.004). Poor mental health was associated with low productivity (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Our results showed that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected dental professionals’ perceived productivity and mental health around the globe. Younger individuals and women were disproportionally affected, and institutional support had a significant influence to mitigate effects of the pandemic for dental researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors aknowledge IADR headquarters and Women in Science Network for their support for the survey distribution.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Dental Education Association.


  • gender differences
  • research productivity
  • researchers
  • scholarly work
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry (all)


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