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Dentists' use of validated child dental anxiety measures in clinical practice: a mixed methods study

Alshammasi, H; Buchanan, H; Ashley, P; (2018) Dentists' use of validated child dental anxiety measures in clinical practice: a mixed methods study. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry , 28 (1) pp. 62-70. 10.1111/ipd.12302. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Assessing anxiety is an important part of the assessment of a child presenting for dental treatment; however, the use of dental anxiety scales in practice is not well-documented. AIMS: To introduce child dental anxiety scales, and to monitor the extent to which dentists used them; to explore the experience and views of dentists regarding anxiety assessment. DESIGN: A mixed-methods design was employed. METHOD: A protocol for child anxiety assessment was introduced to paediatric dentists in Eastman Dental Hospital. After 6 months, 100 patient files were audited to examine compliance with the protocol. Fourteen dentists were interviewed to explore their experience and views regarding anxiety assessment. RESULTS: Only five patients were assessed using the scales. Thematic analysis of the dentist interviews revealed three themes: 'Clinical observations and experience: The gold standard'; 'Scales as an estimate or adjunct'; and 'Shortcomings and barriers to using scales'. CONCLUSIONS: The dentists in our study did not use anxiety scales, instead they rely on their own experience/judgement. Therefore, scales should be recommended as an adjunct to judgement. Brief scales are recommended as clinicians lack time and expertise in administering anxiety questionnaires. Advantages of using scales and hands-on experience could be incorporated more in undergraduate training.

Type: Article
Title: Dentists' use of validated child dental anxiety measures in clinical practice: a mixed methods study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ipd.12302
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ipd.12302
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > EDI Craniofacial and Development Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1553111
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