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CAREER (COVID-19: Dental health professionals: A longitudinal study of uncertainties, anxieties and preparedness for practice)


The CAREER project is a longitudinal research study seeking to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the anxiety, feelings of uncertainty and preparedness for practice of early career dental health professionals and dental health professionals working in a primary care setting in Scotland.

Findings will inform the future provision of educational support and training and may be used to provide health services with a stronger knowledge base about how to support and prepare dental professionals in stressful workplace situations.

The study is being undertaken in partnership between NHS Education for Scotland, the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews.

Current status

Recruitment and data collection are complete. Work is ongoing to publish results and develop future projects.


Beaton, L., Knights J., Barnsley, L., Araujo, M., Clarkson, J., Freeman, R., Young, L., Yuan, S. and Humphris, G. (2022). Longitudinal online diaries with dental practitioners and dental care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A trajectory analysis. Frontiers in Oral Health, 3.

Knights, J. and Humphris, G. (2022). Editorial: Beyond the individual: the need for team based and system-wide solutions to support improved mental health in dentistry. Community Dental Health Journal, 39 (2).

Knights, J., Beaton, L., Young, L., Araujo, M., Yuan, S., Clarkson, J., Humphris, G. and Freeman, R. (2022). Uncertainty and Fears Around Sustainability: A Qualitative Exploration of the Emotional Reactions of Dental Practitioners and Dental Care Professionals During COVID-19. Frontiers in Oral Health, 2.

Freeman, R., Knights, J., Beaton, L., Araujo, M., Yuan, S., Clarkson, J., Young, L. and Humphris, G. (2021). Prediction of emotional exhaustion over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in primary care dental staff: an intensive longitudinal study. BMJ Open,11(12).

Humphris, G., Knights, J., Beaton, L., Araujo, M., Yuan, S., Clarkson, J., Young, L. and Freeman, R., 2021. Exploring the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Dental Team: Preparedness, Psychological Impacts and Emotional Reactions. Frontiers in Oral Health, 2.

Chief investigators

Professor Ruth Freeman,Co-Director of the Dental Health Services Research Unit, School of Dentistry, University of Dundee

Professor Gerald Humphris,School of Medicine, University of St Andrews

Dr Linda Young, Programme Lead, NHS Education for Scotland


Jennifer Knights
Specialist Research Lead (Dental)
NHS Education for Scotland


Partner programmes