‘Message to dentist’: Facilitating communication with dentally anxious children

RODD, Helen, TIMMS, Laura, NOBLE, Fiona, BUX, Sarah, PORRITT, Jenny and MARSHMAN, Zoe (2019). ‘Message to dentist’: Facilitating communication with dentally anxious children. Dentistry journal, 7 (3), e69.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6767/7/3/69
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.3390/dj7030069


Dental anxiety affects children worldwide and can have negative consequences on oral health. This study aimed to evaluate a novel communication aid ‘message to dentist’ (MTD), as part of a wider cognitive behavioural therapy approach to reduce dental anxiety in young patients. Dentally anxious children, aged 9−16 years, were invited to complete the MTD proforma, before and following their course of treatment. They scored how worried they were and their anticipated pain levels on a scale of 1−10 (10 being the worst outcome). They also wrote down their coping plans and post-treatment reflections. One hundred and five children, from a UK general dental practice and a hospital clinic, were included. They had a mean age of 11.6 years, and 65% were female. There was a significant reduction in self-report worry (from 4.9 to 2.1) and anticipated pain (from 5.1 to 2.0) scores (p 0.05, paired t-test). Many children (30%) used listening to music/audiobook as a coping strategy. Thematic analysis revealed concerns around pain, uncertainty, errors and specific procedures. The MTD proforma proved an effective means of facilitating communication between anxious children and the dental team, allowing them to identify their worries and make personalised coping plans.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: eissn 2304-6767 **History: published 01-07-2019; accepted 17-06-2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: dental anxiety, communication tool, paediatric dentistry, cognitive behavioural therapy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/dj7030069
Page Range: e69
SWORD Depositor: Louise Beirne
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 09:15
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 05:05
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24798

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