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Cognitive vulnerability and dental fear.

Armfield JM, Slade GD, Spencer AJ - BMC Oral Health (2008)

Bottom Line: Each of the three vulnerability-related perceptions was strongly associated with the prevalence of high dental fear.However, unpredictability perceptions did not have a statistically significant independent association with dental fear after controlling for all other variables.However, more extensive measures of vulnerability perceptions would be valuable in future investigations.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, School of Dentistry, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. jason.armfield@adelaide.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: The Cognitive Vulnerability Model proposes that perceptions of certain characteristics of a situation are critical determinants of fear. Although the model is applicable to all animal, natural environment and situational fears, it has not yet been applied specifically to dental fear. This study therefore aimed to examine the association between dental fear and perceptions of dental visits as uncontrollable, unpredictable and dangerous.

Methods: The study used a clustered, stratified national sample of Australians aged 15 years and over. All participants were asked in a telephone interview survey to indicate their level of dental fear. Participants who received an oral examination were subsequently provided with a self-complete questionnaire in which they rated their perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness associated with dental visiting.

Results: 3937 participants were recruited. Each of the three vulnerability-related perceptions was strongly associated with the prevalence of high dental fear. In a logistic regression analysis, uncontrollability and dangerousness perceptions were significantly associated with high dental fear after controlling for age and sex. However, unpredictability perceptions did not have a statistically significant independent association with dental fear after controlling for all other variables.

Conclusion: Results are mostly consistent with the Cognitive Vulnerability Model of the etiology of fear, with perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness each showing a strong bivariate relationship with high dental fear prevalence. However, more extensive measures of vulnerability perceptions would be valuable in future investigations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Prevalence (and 95% CI) of participants with high dental fear (moderate to extreme) by perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness.
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Figure 3: Prevalence (and 95% CI) of participants with high dental fear (moderate to extreme) by perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness.

Mentions: The relationships between dental fear and perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness are shown in Figure 3. Only 3–6% of people who perceived the dental visit as being highly controllable, highly predictable and highly safe had moderate to extreme dental fear. However, the prevalence of high dental fear among people who regarded the dental environment as being highly uncontrollable, highly unpredictable or highly dangerous was 51.0%, 49.8% and 72.9% respectively. All three variables showed a strong linear association with dental fear. Univariate analysis of variance confirmed that dental fear was significantly associated with perceptions of uncontrollability (F = 81.22, p < 0.001), perceptions of unpredictability (F = 40.93, p < 0.001) and with perceptions of the likelihood of harm (F = 107.11, p < 0.001).


Cognitive vulnerability and dental fear.

Armfield JM, Slade GD, Spencer AJ - BMC Oral Health (2008)

Prevalence (and 95% CI) of participants with high dental fear (moderate to extreme) by perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2266729&req=5

Figure 3: Prevalence (and 95% CI) of participants with high dental fear (moderate to extreme) by perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness.
Mentions: The relationships between dental fear and perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness are shown in Figure 3. Only 3–6% of people who perceived the dental visit as being highly controllable, highly predictable and highly safe had moderate to extreme dental fear. However, the prevalence of high dental fear among people who regarded the dental environment as being highly uncontrollable, highly unpredictable or highly dangerous was 51.0%, 49.8% and 72.9% respectively. All three variables showed a strong linear association with dental fear. Univariate analysis of variance confirmed that dental fear was significantly associated with perceptions of uncontrollability (F = 81.22, p < 0.001), perceptions of unpredictability (F = 40.93, p < 0.001) and with perceptions of the likelihood of harm (F = 107.11, p < 0.001).

Bottom Line: Each of the three vulnerability-related perceptions was strongly associated with the prevalence of high dental fear.However, unpredictability perceptions did not have a statistically significant independent association with dental fear after controlling for all other variables.However, more extensive measures of vulnerability perceptions would be valuable in future investigations.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, School of Dentistry, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. jason.armfield@adelaide.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: The Cognitive Vulnerability Model proposes that perceptions of certain characteristics of a situation are critical determinants of fear. Although the model is applicable to all animal, natural environment and situational fears, it has not yet been applied specifically to dental fear. This study therefore aimed to examine the association between dental fear and perceptions of dental visits as uncontrollable, unpredictable and dangerous.

Methods: The study used a clustered, stratified national sample of Australians aged 15 years and over. All participants were asked in a telephone interview survey to indicate their level of dental fear. Participants who received an oral examination were subsequently provided with a self-complete questionnaire in which they rated their perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness associated with dental visiting.

Results: 3937 participants were recruited. Each of the three vulnerability-related perceptions was strongly associated with the prevalence of high dental fear. In a logistic regression analysis, uncontrollability and dangerousness perceptions were significantly associated with high dental fear after controlling for age and sex. However, unpredictability perceptions did not have a statistically significant independent association with dental fear after controlling for all other variables.

Conclusion: Results are mostly consistent with the Cognitive Vulnerability Model of the etiology of fear, with perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability and dangerousness each showing a strong bivariate relationship with high dental fear prevalence. However, more extensive measures of vulnerability perceptions would be valuable in future investigations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus