028 – Stress and burnout amongst Australian dental practitioners

  • Chief Investigator A: A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
  • Chief Investigator B: Prof Gordon Parker AO
  • Chief Investigator C: Dr Roisin McGrath
  • Associate Investigator: Dr Nicole Stormon


The dental profession has long been regarded as having high levels of professional stress and burnout, however the mental health of Australian dentists has been studied sporadically over the past few decades.


To explore the social, work and mental health effects experienced by dental professionals in Australia, and to examine factors that promote good mental health and risk factors that contribute to poorer mental health.


The past 18 months has placed significant pressure on dental practitioners who have had to work with the uncertainty of an airborne virus in a work environment that routinely generates aerosols, with an expected increased risk of transmission of COVID-19. At various times, dental services have been restricted by governments, contributing to increased stress for dental practitioners working in the private sector whose livelihood has been disrupted, and moral stress for all practitioners who have been unable to provide necessary health care for their patients. Stress and burnout symptoms are likely to affect the quality of care that dental practitioners provide and may prevent practitioners from working at all.


Information about burnout, perfectionism, general health, psychological distress, alcohol and recreational drug usage, resilience, depression and suicide and relaxing and staying healthy will be collected from Australian dental practitioners via a fully anonymised electronic questionnaire. Participants will be invited to take part through a link to the questionnaire. The study will be sent to dental practitioners through the eviDent Foundation and their professional associations and via social media channels targeting closed dental forums.

What are the expected outcomes?

It is anticipated this project will provide a better understanding of the prevalence and impact of stress and burnout in the dental profession that will be used to help develop and target support programs for dental professionals.