The correlation of perceived stress and professional concerns during COVID-19 pandemic among Iranian dentists: the mediating role of cognitive flexibility


  • Afrooz Afshari Department of psychology, faculty of educational science and psychology, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran
  • Seyedehsareh Hashemikamangar Department of psychology, master student of clinical psychology, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran
  • Sedighe Sadat Hashemikamangar Associate Professor, Tehran University of medical sciences



COVID-19, dentists, professional concerns, perceived stress, psychological flexibility


Objective: To evaluate the association of perceived stress and dental work-related concerns regarding to COVID-19 by mediating role of cognitive flexibility among dentists during pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran.

Methods: This study was a cross sectional survey conducted by means of a confidential on-line survey on 174 Iranian dentists. COVID-19 related questions were divided to three parts: dentists’ perspective about their career future, virus contagion and concerns of getting infected COVID-19 from patients, and paucity of information and facilities to control the spread of the virus. Perceived stress and psychological flexibility were assessed by PSS (Cohen et al., 1983) and CFI (Dennis et al., 2010). To analyze data path analysis method was used.

Results: Perceived stress significantly predicted psychological flexibility (both alternatives and control subscales) and COVID-19 factors related to dental work In addition, control subscale significantly predicted dentists’ concerns toward their career future and fear of COVID-19 contagion. Hence, control subscale of cognitive flexibility mediated the relationship of perceived stress and professional concerns of dentists during COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion: Given these results, elevated stress during an infectious disease outbreak can effect (have impact on) perceived stress and professional concerns among dentists. Different aspects of dentists’ lives can be affected by those concerns and stress. Interventions to enhance the cognitive flexibility should be applied to reduce the psychological burden of the crisis for dentists.


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