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

2017, vol. 54, nr 4, October-December, p. 389–395

doi: 10.17219/dmp/78544

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Utility of the visual analog scale for the assessment of dental anxiety

Przydatność skali wzrokowo-analogowej do oceny poziomu lęku stomatologicznego

Monika U. Skowron1,A,B,C,D,F, Przemysław G. Nowak2,A,D,F, Włodzimierz Więckiewicz1,D,E,F, Martyna Waliczek2,B,E,F

1 Department of Dental Prosthetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

2 Department of Toxicology and Health Protection, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland


Background. Psychometric scales can be used to assess the level of dental anxiety, but for practical reasons these are not routinely used in practice. This provides the opportunity to look for a simpler method that can be applied in the everyday work of a dentist.
Objectives. The study was designed to determine the utility of the visual analog scale (VAS) for dental anxiety assessment.
Material and Methods. The study involved 315 patients who were awaiting their appointments; they were asked to complete a survey consisting of a scale and questionnaires: Modified Dental Rating Scale (MDAS), Kleinknecht’s Dental Fear Survey (DFS), Dental Beliefs Survey (DBS), and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) of anxiety.
Results. An assessment of anxiety level measured by the MDAS scale showed that the majority of patients in the study group were patients with an average level of anxiety (68%), 25% with low and 7% with high levels of anxiety (phobia). The DFS found that 45% were patients with low anxiety levels, 48% with an average level, and 7% with phobias. By using the DBS scale, it was observed that the vast majority of respondents showed average confidence (70%), 26% high trust and only 4% did not trust the dentist. There is a high correlation between VAS scores and MDAS and DFS scales.
Conclusion. The VAS scale can be a simple and reliable tool for assessing anxiety in patients before dental surgery.

Key words

dental anxiety, dental treatment, visual analog scale

Słowa kluczowe

lęk dentystyczny, leczenie stomatologiczne, skala wzrokowo-analogowa

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