Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Changes in dental fear and its relations to anxiety and depression in the FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study

List of Authors: Hagqvist Outi, Tolvanen Mimmi, Rantavuori Kari, Karlsson Linnea, Karlsson Hasse, Lahti Satu

Publisher: WILEY

Publication year: 2020

Journal: European Journal of Oral Sciences


Journal acronym: EUR J ORAL SCI

Volume number: 128

Issue number: 5

Start page: 429

End page: 435

Number of pages: 7

ISSN: 0909-8836

eISSN: 1600-0722


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This study aimed to: (i) evaluate short-term changes in dental fear during a 9-month period among women and men, and (ii) evaluate whether the course and magnitude of changes in dental fear were associated with changes in depression and anxiety. The longitudinal data of the FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study were used. Out of 3808 women and 2623 men, 1984 women and 1082 men filled in the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) at gestational weeks 14 and 34, and 3 months after childbirth. Other questionnaires used were the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the anxiety subscale of the Symptom Checklist-90. All scales were analyzed as sum scores. The MDAS was also trichotomized to assess the stability of dental fear. Statistical significances of the changes in dental fear, depression, and general anxiety were evaluated using repeated-measures Friedman tests. Correlation coefficients were used to describe the associations between measures (Spearman) and their changes (Pearson). Dental fear more often increased than decreased, but for the majority it was stable. On average, dental fear, depression, and anxiety symptoms correlated throughout the study. The correlations tended to be stronger with depressive symptoms. However, the relationships between changes in dental fear, depression, and anxiety were not systematic.

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Last updated on 2022-07-04 at 18:07