Dental and Medical Problems

Dent. Med. Probl.
Index Copernicus (ICV 2019) – 118.76
MNiSW – 20
CiteScore (2020) – 1.2
Average rejection rate (2020) – 88.71%
ISSN 1644-387X (print)
ISSN 2300-9020 (online)
Periodicity – quarterly

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Dental and Medical Problems

2015, vol. 52, nr 3, July-September, p. 309–315

Publication type: original article

Language: English

Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Numerical Scale for Anxiety Assessement in 10–15 Years Children Undergoing Dental Treatment

Zastosowanie skali numerycznej do oceny poziomu lęku u dzieci 10–15-letnich przed zabiegami stomatologicznymi

Magdalena Kowalińska-Kania1,A,B,C,D,F, Damian Nowak2,C,D,F, Martyna Waliczek3,B,F, Monika Skowron4,B,F, Wojciech Roczniak2,D,F, Aleksandra Żelazko2,B,F, Przemysław Grzegorz Nowak2,A,D,F

1 Non Public Health Care Facility M@B Kania, Katowice, Poland

2 Department of Toxicology and Health Protection, Public Health Faculty in Bytom, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

3 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Public Health Faculty in Bytom, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

4 Non Public Health Care Facility Duo-Dent, Czarnowąsy, Poland


Background. Anxiety associated with dental procedures can be assessed by means of numerous scales and questionnaires. However, their completion by patients and interpretation by doctors are time-consuming.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to verify the hypothesis of legitimate and possible use of a numerical scale (NRS) to assess the intensity of anxiety in children before dental treatment.
Material and Methods. The study group consisted of 250 respondents aged 10–15 years. Before entering surgery, they were asked to fill in a proprietary survey and a number of questionnaires: Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (CDAS), Dental Belief Survey (DBS), Children Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS) and NRS. Data were analyzed with Mann-Whitney test. Correlation was evaluated with Spearman test.
Results. Among the respondents, 56% were girls, 44% boys. The CDAS questionnaire showed that 41% of children were anxious, the CFSS-DS questionnaire revealed that 56% experienced a slight fear before dental appointment (the term „anxious” and „slight fear” can be considered similar). Assessing the level of anxiety using the NRS questionnaire, it was found that 40% reported low anxiety and 30% moderate anxiety. The majority of the respondents (64%) showed great trust towards the dentist, with girls displaying significantly higher level of confidence. However, gender was not found to affect the level of anxiety. A high correlation was noted between the results provided by the NRS vs. CDAS, NRS vs. CFSS-DS, and CDAS vs. CFSS-DS. The results also indicated that the higher the confidence the lower the level of anxiety towards dental treatment.
Conclusion. The NRS is a reliable tool to assess the level of anxiety in children aged 10–15 years. The unquestionable advantage of this method is short time of completion and simple interpretation of results.

Key words

children, dental anxiety, questionnaires measuring anxiety, numerical scale

Słowa kluczowe

dzieci, lęk dentystyczny, metody oceny lęku, skala numeryczna

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