The aim of this paper was to review the published scientific literature to quantify the prevalence and mean score of
dental fear/anxiety (DFA) in children/adolescents and its variation according to several variables.
sectional and cohort studies published from 2000 to 2014, that measured DFA in children /adolescents (aged 0-19 years), in the general
population, or visiting private or public dental services (general or pediatric) or attending school and kindergarten, were searched, with
specific terms, in 3 electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Web Of Science). Primary data, collected with specific questionnaires of
demonstrated reliability and/or validity, were extracted.
After screening 743 abstracts and evaluating 164 full-text
publications, 36 articles were selected. Dental fear/anxiety prevalence rates were 12.2%, 10.0%, 12.2%,11.0% and 20.0% for the
CFSS-DS, DAS, MDAS, DFS, and DFSS-SF scores, respectively. In the studies that used MCDAS Dental fear/prevalence rates varied
from 13.3% to 29.3%. In the studies that used CFSS-DS ratings, the prevalence and the mean score of dental fear/anxiety was lower in
Northern Europe than the remaining countries, the prevalence decreased with increasing age and the frequency was higher in females
than males. CONCLUSIONS: Dental fear/anxiety is a common problem in children/adolescents worldwide, therefore, new strategies to
overcome this relevant children/adolescent condition should be encouraged.
Vol.18 – n.2/2017
Harvard: S. Cianetti, G. Lombardo, E. Lupatelli, S. Pagano, I. Abraha, A. Montedori, S. Caruso, R. Gatto, S. De Giorgio, R. Salvato (2017) "Dental fear/anxiety among children and adolescents. A systematic review", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 18(2), pp121-130. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2017.18.02.07
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