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Oral Health Literacy as a Predictor of Dental Anxiety in Parents of Children Undergoing Dental Treatment

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Purpose: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between parents' dental anxiety (DA) and independent variables.

Methods: One hundred sixty-eight dyads of parents and six- to 12-year-old children who were undergoing treatment at a university pediatric dentistry clinic were recruited. Two examiners evaluated parents' DA and oral health literacy (OHL) using the Brazilian version of Corah's dental anxiety scale and the Brazilian Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (BREALD-30), respectively. Children's DA was reported by parents through the dental anxiety question (DAQ). Demographic data was also collected. A single examiner used the decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth and primary teeth (DMFT/dmft) indices to assess the children's oral health status. The data analysis involved univariate and multivariate Poisson regression.

Results: In the multivariate regression, higher levels of parents' DA were associated with a household income equal to or less than the Brazilian monthly minimum wage (prevalence ratio [PR]=4.9; 95 percent confidence interval [CI]=2.1 to 11.7) and a lower degree of OHL (PR=1.68; 95 percent CI=1.01 to 2.8). Associations between parents' DA and children's DA and DMFT/dmft index were not found.

Conclusion: Parents' dental anxiety was related to a low household income and low oral health literacy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: PhD student, Department of Dentistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, in Brazil;, Email: [email protected] 2: Adjunct professor, Department of Stomatology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, in Brazil 3: Department of Stomatology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, in Brazil 4: Associate professor, Department of Stomatology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, in Brazil

Publication date: September 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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