Burnout among Brazilian Dentists during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Study

Juliane Kely F. Silva1, Fernando M. Carvalho1, Carolina F. Azevedo1, Marcos Vinicius S. Silva1, Arthur Igor C. Lima1, Liliane Lins-Kusterer1, *
1 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Universidade Federal da Bahia, State of Bahia, Brazil

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© 2023 Silva et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Universidade Federal da Bahia, State of Bahia, Brazil;
Tel: +5571992700660; E-mail:



This article identifies the factors associated with burnout among dentists in the state of Bahia, Brazil, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


A cross-sectional study, conducted between November 2020 and February 2021, of 251 dentists, selected by snowball sampling. Sociodemographic, occupational, and epidemiological information was collected in an electronic form. Burnout was evaluated through the Maslach Burnout Inventory; anxiety through the Beck Anxiety Inventory; and quality of life through the WHOQol-BREF questionnaire. Multiple linear regression was used to identify factors associated with variations in levels of the three burnout dimensions.


The mean levels of the burnout dimensions were: Emotional Exhaustion: 28.9 ± 8.9 (SD); Depersonalization = 8.2 ± 6.3; and Personal Accomplishment: 28.0 ± 6.2. The proportion of professionals with high Emotional Exhaustion (≥ 30 cut-off score), high Depersonalization (≥ 12 cut-off score), and low Personal Accomplishment (≤ 33 cut-off score) were 43.4%, 26.3% and 81.3%, respectively. Burnout components were associated with high anxiety; lower levels of the physical, psychological, social relations, and environmental dimensions of quality of life; less time working as a dentist; increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic, feeling safe when using personal protective equipment, and support from work fellows.


The dentists investigated showed moderate levels of Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization, and very low levels of Personal Accomplishment. The prevention and mitigation of burnout syndrome among dentists during a pandemic should consider several factors, such as quality of life, amount of time in the profession, use of personal protective equipment, support from fellow dentists, and alcohol consumption.

Keywords: COVID-19, Dentists, Professional burnout, Anxiety, Quality of life, Occupational health.