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Communication Application for Use During the First Dental Visit for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate an application (app) facilitating patient-professional communication among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and compare it with the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Methods: Forty nine- to 15-year-olds were randomly divided into two groups: G1 (app; N equals 20) and G2 (PECS; N equals 20). Initially, the visual contact timing of the groups was measured. Pictures of a room, ground, chair, dentist, mouth, low-speed handpiece, and air-water syringe were presented to both groups. Each picture was shown up to three times per appointment to evaluate whether or not the child accepted the procedure. After dental prophylaxis, caries experience was recorded. Results: The prevalence of dental caries was 37.5 percent. Differences in the number of attempts required for each picture to acquire the skill proposed were found between the groups (Mann-Whitney, P<0.05). A significant difference in the median number of attempts (G1 equals 9.5 and G2 equals 15) and appointments (G1 equals three and G2 equals five) was observed (Mann-Whitney, P<0.05). Conclusions: The app was more effective than the Picture Exchange Communication System for dentist-patient communication, decreasing the number of appointments required for preventive dental care and clinical examinations.
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Keywords: AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER; CHILD; MOBILE APPLICATIONS; PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor, School of Dentistry of APCD, Individuals with Special Needs, in São Paulo, Brazil 2: Associate professor, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil 3: Assistant professor, at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, in São Paulo, Brazil 4: Full professor, Individuals with Special Needs, Cruzeiro do Sul University, in São Paulo, Brazil 5: Full professor, at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, in São Paulo, Brazil;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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