CDA COVID-19 Tracking Survey Data, October 2021
Over the past year, the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) has been tracking consumer/public opinion and behavioural trends related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest data of the COVID-19 tracking survey, prepared by Abacus Data for CDA, is now available.
The surveys were conducted between October 8 and October 20, 2021, and were based on a sample of 3,000 survey responses from Canadians coast-to-coast. The key takeaways include:
PANDEMIC WORRY HAS FLATTENED
Worry over the COVID-19 pandemic has flatlined since August 2021. While one quarter of the public has some lingering COVID-19 anxiety, the majority are only a little or somewhat worried about COVID-19.
Regional trends – Quebecers are less worried about COVID-19 than those in other provinces. Consequently, they have a lower risk perception on the risk of transmission from dental appointments and tend to be more comfortable attending dental appointments. People living in Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are slightly more worried about COVID-19 in general.
MEDIA: COVID-19 NO LONGER PENETRATING AUDIENCES
A crucial part of the current opinion environment is driven by the degree to which COVID-19 is losing its place as the dominant and exclusive media frame. Trends are indicating COVID-19 news fatigue, with fewer people saying that they are exposed to COVID-related topics in the media.
DENTAL VISITS ARE GROWING BUT MISSING BENCHMARKS
The number of dental visits continues to increase. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Canadians have visited or consulted with a dentist since the pandemic began and 42% have visited the dentist multiple times. However, compared to pre-COVID dentist visitation rates, these figures are still somewhat below normal benchmarks.
There is a continued increase in the number of people planning to schedule an appointment in the next 3-6 months (41%, up from 32% in October 2020). But most of those planning a visit in the next 6 months are those who have already visited a dentist in the last year.
CONCERN ABOUT COVID-19 TRANSMISSION AT THE DENTAL OFFICE
Concern about getting COVID-19 from a dental appointment has flatlined. A consistent one third of the population are still concerned about transmission at the dental office. 65% of Canadians are unconcerned. This number has not grown since June 2021, but it is holding steady.
COMFORT LEVEL VISITING A DENTIST
The comfort level with visiting the dentist continues to grow. Only 23% of people are uncomfortable attending an appointment. This may be an indication of the normalization of the risk environment.
Those who say they are uncomfortable visiting the dental office tend to be:
- people with lower household incomes
- more concerned about the virus
- people who have been financially impacted by COVID-19
- more likely not to have insurance coverage
- those who have not visited a dentist in the last 2 years or longer
CDA Oasis Discussions: Trends on Canadians’ Attitudes Related to COVID-19 and Dental Offices
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Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team