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Survey of Behavior Management Teaching in Pediatric Dentistry Advanced Education Programs

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to survey pediatric dentistry advanced education program directors regarding the teaching of behavior management techniques.

Methods: Surveys were mailed to all (65) advanced education programs in the United States. Follow-up mailings were sent to nonrespondents. The survey contained items on program demographics and the program's teaching of communicative and pharmacologic techniques. Information was also obtained on informed consent and parental presence in the operatory.

Results: Surveys were returned by 54 programs. Two programs declined to respond because they had not yet accepted or certified residents. The final response rate was 86%. The mean percentage (± SD) of total didactic time devoted to behavior management was 13% (±9.5). Communicative techniques were taught as "acceptable" by 98% of programs, with the exception of the hand-over-mouth exercise (HOME), which was taught as "unacceptable" by 54% of programs. Active and passive immobilization of sedated and nonsedated children was taught as "acceptable" by 76% to 98% of programs. All programs taught that pharmacologic techniques (nitrous oxide, conscious sedation, general anesthesia) are "acceptable." There was little evidence that the teaching of behavior management techniques had changed over the previous 5 years, nor that it is likely to change in the near future. Parental presence in the operatory was common for some procedures, particularly among younger children.

Conclusions: Most programs do not teach HOME as an acceptable behavior management technique. The amount of curricular time devoted to behavior management is not likely to change appreciably in the near future.
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Document Type: Conference Report

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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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