Document Type : Original Article
1 Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
2 DDS, Private Practice, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
Aim: This study aimed to assess the feedback of patients regarding orthodontic treatment during the coronavirus pandemic of 2019 (COVID-19).
Methods: In this observational study, keywords related to orthodontic treatment along with either “corona” or “COVID” were searched in Twitter during a two-month period from 2 October 2020 to 12 October 2021. The retrieved tweets were categorized into five themes of pain, getting braces, limitations due to COVID-19, seeking information, and delayed treatment based on content, and were then manually categorized into three groups of positive, neutral, and negative tweets. Next, a coding system was designed by the software MAXQDA, and the tweets were coded. Data were analyzed by the analysis feature of MAXQDA.
Results: Of a total of 424 tweets retrieved, 95 were excluded. The majority of the tweets were about limitations due to COVID-19 (n=156) and were negative (n=213). Also, the majority of the tweets were posted by female users (67.5%). The most common reason for the negative tweets of patients was delayed treatment (43.9%). Also, poor performance of orthodontic clinics and orthodontists with regard to informing and reassuring the patients about protective measures was another reason for the negative tweets of patients (12.5%).
Conclusion: Delayed treatment was the most common cause of patient dissatisfaction followed by poor awareness and reassurance of patients regarding adherence to the preventive measures and hygienic protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.