Trends on Canadians’ Attitudes Related to COVID-19 and Dental Offices
Ever since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March 2020, the Canadian Dental association (CDA) has continued to track evolving public behaviour, attitudes, and perceptions as they relate to the dental community in Canada through Abacus Data COVID-19 Tracking Surveys. As we now enter what many Canadians fear will be a challenging time in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, Abacus has presented their latest findings from their August 2021 COVID-19 Tracking Survey. The survey was conducted with 3,000 Canadians from August 9 to August 12, 2021, and August 12 to August 18, 2021.
Further data will be forthcoming in the October 2021 and December 2021 fielding dates.
Here are the key takeaways from the August report:
UPSWING IN PANDEMIC WORRY
There has been a modest increase in concern and worry over the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase goes against a trend of declining concern that had been recorded since the Fall of 2020. Public opinion is reacting in real time to the signals Canadians are receiving from public health officials and news media outlets about what may lay ahead in the Fall. The proportion of Canadians who believe that the worst is yet to come has doubled (24%, up from 11%).
INCREASE IN EXPOSURE TO MEDIA CONCERNING DELTA VARIANT
As the spread of the Delta variant has worsened and public officials issue warnings, there has been an uptick in the number of Canadians who have heard about new, more contagious forms of COVID-19.
8 IN 10 ADULTS NOW PARTIALLY VACCINATED
More Canadians continue to be vaccinated (+10% since June 2021). Over 80% of eligible Canadians have now received at least one dose of vaccine. The proportion of Canadians who will not take the vaccine under any circumstances, or who would prefer not to take the vaccine but could be persuaded, has remained steady since June 2021 (7% and 4% respectively).
INCREASE IN NUMBER OF VISITS TO THE DENTIST SINCE MARCH 2020
Despite fears around the new wave of COVID-19, visits to the dental office have continued. The proportion of Canadians that have had no dental visits since March 2020 has remained the same, but those who have been attending are continuing to attend.
FEAR OF COVID-19 TRANSMISSION IN THE DENTAL OFFICE REMAINS THE SAME
The perceived risk of COVID-19 transmission at the dental office has not changed since June 2021, though it remains low. A large majority of respondents are unconcerned.
COMFORT LEVELS WITH VISITING THE DENTIST HAVE STALLED
Following a steady increase in comfort levels around dental visits since November 2020, the proportion of Canadians who are comfortable visiting their dentist has now stalled at 75%.
INTENTION TO SCHEDULE A DENTAL APPOINTMENT IS ROBUST
36% of respondents say they intend to schedule a dental appointment asap or very soon, a slight decline since June 2021.
DENTAL SERVICES REQUIRED AT NEXT VISIT INDICATE A RETURN TO NORMALCY
The incidence of emergency dental care has dropped significantly since earlier in the pandemic. Dental cleaning continues to be the primary service Canadians expect to get at their next visit. This bodes well for a return to normalcy.
We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.
Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team