Dental faculty well-being amid COVID-19 in fall 2020: A multi-site measure of burnout, loneliness, and resilience

Carlos S. Smith, Erinne Kennedy, Karin Quick, Caroline K. Carrico, Sophia Saeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose/objectives: This study aimed to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental school faculty's self-reported burnout, loneliness, and resilience. Methods: A 34-item questionnaire composed of three previously validated scales – adapted Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, the brief resilience scale, and a short loneliness scale – and demographic information was sent by email to dental school faculty in four dental schools across the US during the sixth and seventh months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Two-hundred sixteen (19.63%) of faculty invited to participate completed the survey. On a scale of five, with five indicating extreme burnout and one indicating no burnout, the average personal burnout was 2.7 (SD = 0.83), and work-related burnout (WRB) was 2.8 (SD = 0.83). Personal and WRB decreased with increasing age. WRB was significantly higher among full-time faculty, females, and those living alone. Faculty who lived alone experienced more loneliness than those who lived with others. Resilience was not a statistically significant difference across demographic groups. Regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their burnout, loneliness, and resilience on a scale ranging from “Never” (scored as 1) to “A great deal” (scored as 5), the average response for burnout was 3.3 (SD = 1.01), loneliness was 2.6 (SD = 1.10), and resilience was 2.8 (SD = 0.99). Conclusion(s): While self-reported burnout and resilience scores did not show a significant increase during the pandemic, the rates of burnout and loneliness remain higher than the public. Dental education has real challenges and opportunities to explore individual and organizational interventions to combat burnout and loneliness and enhance resilience among faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-415
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Dental Education Association


  • burnout
  • faculty development
  • loneliness
  • organizational culture
  • resilience
  • well-being

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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