Dental and Medical Problems
2015, vol. 52, nr 3, July-September, p. 309–315
Publication type: original article
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
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.
children, dental anxiety, questionnaires measuring anxiety, numerical scale
dzieci, lęk dentystyczny, metody oceny lęku, skala numeryczna
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