Infection control attitudes and perceptions among dental students in Latin America: implications for dental education. Academic Article uri icon


  • UNLABELLED: Latin American dental schools are at diverse stages in the continuum of implementation of infection control (IC) programmes that comply with evidence-based recommendations. Poor IC training may result in low compliance and negative attitudes against patients infected with blood borne pathogens (BBP). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate students' knowledge on IC and attitudes toward occupational BBP risks, in six dental schools in Latin America. METHODS: This survey was administered to convenience samples of dental students at one school in Costa Rica; four schools in Mexico, and one in Venezuela. The questionnaire included Likert-type scale evaluations of agreement with statements. Study variables included knowledge about and confidence in recommended IC procedures, degree of concern about HIV and HBV transmission in dental settings, and attitudes toward patients infected with BBP. Possible associations between variables were analysed using Pearson's Chi square and Kruskal Wallis tests. RESULTS: Substantial numbers of students had incomplete knowledge and often lacked confidence on IC and procedures; believed that HIV and HBV could be transmitted during clinical procedures; felt worried about occupational exposure to BBP, and held prejudices towards HIV and HBV infected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Educational efforts are needed to enhance IC teaching and compliance. Diverse educational resources and international networks for research collaboration are available from organisations specialised in IC, hopefully paving the way to harmonising regional standards.

published proceedings

  • Int Dent J

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Acosta-Go, A. E., Borges-Yez, S. A., Flores, M., Herrera, A., Jernimo, J., Martnez, M., ... Soriano, I.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Acosta-Gío, AE||Borges-Yáñez, SA||Flores, M||Herrera, A||Jerónimo, J||Martínez, M||Meneses, P||Peralta, H||Pérez, L||Portocarrero, R||Rodríguez, L||Castillo, L||Molina, M||Larrondo, M||Maupomé, G||Soriano, I

publication date

  • August 2008