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Anxiety and Quality of Life in Phobic Dental Patients
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Professor Nick Girdler
Dr Elaine Brough
Croft-Barnes NP, Girdler NM, Brough E, Wilson KE, Beddis AJ
Journal of Dental Research
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Little is known about the anxiety patients experience before attending for dental treatment. The aim of this study was to determine, in dentally phobic patients, the temporal relationship of pre-operative anxiety levels, and the disruption to daily life caused by this. Twenty-four phobic and 19 comparison (non-phobic) dental patients were recruited. Four validated questionnaires were used to assess anxiety and quality of life, which each patient completed for 5 days prior to, and on the day of, treatment. Those in the experimental group were found to have significantly greater levels of dental and general anxiety, and a significantly lower quality of life compared with those in the comparison group. Significant temporal relationships were found with all of the questionnaires. Dental and general anxiety scores were significantly correlated with quality-of-life measures. This study suggests that phobic dental patients are experiencing significant increased anxiety, and significant negative quality-of-life effects, in this period.
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