Anxiety towards dental treatments and visits in children are often cause for the avoidance and/or failure of the treatment itself, as well as a reason for stress in both the patient and the orthodontist. The aim of the research is to understand if the use of clown therapy in dental waiting rooms is efficient in bringing down the level of preoperative anxiety in paediatric dental patients.
Two psychometric tests were used: CFSS-DS (Dental Subscale of the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule) and FIS (Facial Image Scale), after the translation of the original versions, to both the patients and their parents. The CFSS-DS is the most used instrument in order to assess dental fear in children, it is composed by 15 questions that outline situations which children and adolescents will have to face while on the dental chair. The FIS is a visual analogical scale that uses faces as indicators of anxiety.
The sample consists of 120 subjects, of an age group that ranges from 4 to 12 years (average age: 7.08; SD: 1.817). The average rating on the FIS testing is 2.40 (SD: 1.353, α=00) in the control group and 1.25 (SD: .550, α=.002) in the test group. When it comes to the CFSS-DS, the average rating of the control group is 41.20 (SD: 10.675), meanwhile the average rating of the test group is 27.70 (SD: 5.796), with α=.000 in both groups.
Clowntherapy proves to be an efficient non-pharmacological method to reduce anxiety and dental fear in paediatric patients, offeringa valid and practical support for paediatric dentists.
Vol.23 – n.3/2022
Harvard: A. Cosi, M. Tieri, L. Lombardi, C. Ciaravino, S. D’Ercole, D. Tripodi (2022) "Clowntherapy in paediatric dentistry: The psychological approach to the paediatric patient", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(3), pp242-248. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.03.12
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