The aim of the study was to evaluate reliability and validity of different questionnaires and predict related causes, as
concomitant factors in assessing different aspects of children's dental anxiety. STUDY DESIGN: Children were interviewed on dental
anxiety, dispositional risk factors and satisfaction with the dentist after dental treatment had been accomplished. Parents were
interviewed on dental anxiety as well.
The study population included 165 children (91 boys) aged 5 to 15 years, referred to
a university dental clinic by general dental practitioners because of a history of fear and uncooperative behaviour during previous dental
visits. Children were treated by two dentists, both experienced in treating fearful children. STATISTICS: Statistical analysis was
performed in Statistics for Windows, Release 5.5 and Release 7.5. Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated for validity and
Cronbach alpha for reliability of the measures. Spearman Brown prophecy formula was used for correction of the alpha scores. Results
The children's total average CFSS-DS score was 27.02, with no significant difference with respect to gender. The highest Cronbach
alpha scores regarding reliability were obtained for the S-DAI, the CFSS-DS and the PDAS. Pearson's correlations regarding validity
presented significant correlations between the CMFQ, the CDAS and the S-DAI, between the OAS, the CDAS and the S-DAI, as well as
between the OAS and the DVSS-SV.
Previous negative medical experience had significant influence on children's
dental anxiety, supporting Rachman's conditioning theory. Anxious children were more likely to show behaviour problems (aggression)
and more introvert in expressing their judgement regarding the dentist. Both the S-DAI and the CFSS-DS, which were standardized in
the Croatian population sample, showed the highest reliability in assessment of children's dental anxiety.
Vol.4 – n.4/2003
Harvard: M. Majstorovic, J. S. Veerkamp, I. Skrinjaric (2003) "Reliability and validity of measures used in assessing dental anxiety in 5- to 15-year-old Croatian children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 4(4), pp197-202. doi:
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