A1 Journal article – refereed

Dental fear affects adolescent perception of interaction with dental staff

List of Authors: Sirkka Jaakkola, Satu Lahti, Hannele Räihä, Maiju Saarinen, Mimmi Tolvanen, Minna Aromaa, Matti Sillanpää, Sakari Suominen, Marja‐Leena Mattila, Päivi Rautava


Publication year: 2014

Journal: European Journal of Oral Sciences


Journal acronym: EUR J ORAL SCI

Volume number: 122

Issue number: 5

Number of pages: 7

ISSN: 0909-8836

eISSN: 1600-0722

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eos.12142


The main purpose of this study was to explore whether subjective perception of interaction with dental staff is associated with dental fear in a population-based sample of 18-yr-old adolescents (n=773). The interaction was measured using the Patient Dental Staff Interaction Questionnaire (PDSIQ), validated with exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, which yielded the factors of kind atmosphere and mutual communication', roughness', insecurity', trust and safety', and shame and guilt'. Dental fear was measured using the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS). Gender and sense of coherence (SOC) were included as potential confounding variables. Adolescents with high dental fear more often perceived their interaction with dental staff negatively and more often felt insecure than others. This difference persisted after adjustment for gender and SOC. In conclusion, adolescents with high dental fear may perceive their interaction with dental staff more positively if the staff succeed in creating a positive, trusting, approving, and supportive atmosphere with kindness, calmness, and patience. The communication and interaction skills of dental staff may play a particularly important role when encountering highly fearful dental patients.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:02