Methods: 131 pediatric dentists, who were members of the Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentists, were contacted via e-mails and were instructed to respond to a survey questionnaire. The survey contained a questionnaire composed of 15 multiple-choice questions. The first section contained 12 questions regarding pediatric dentists’ attitudes/policies toward parental presence in the operatory. A 4-point Likert-type scale (1=strongly agree, 2=agree, 3=disagree, 4=strongly disagree) was used to measure their attitudes toward parental presence. The questions in this section were grouped based on age of child and type of dental visit. Dental visit types included new patient exam, recall exam, restorative visit and emergency visit. The second section contained 3 questions regarding demographic information of the pediatric dentists such as gender, type and years of practice.
Results: A total of 67 pediatric dentists responded to the survey (51% response rate). Statistically significant differences in attitudes of pediatric dentists toward parental presence were observed for children under three years of age and for initial exam and emergency visits (ANOVA, p < 0.001). Parents were more likely to be allowed in the operatory in those circumstances. No significant relationship was found between years in practice of pediatric dentists and their acceptance of parents in the operatory (t-test, p > 0.05). There were no differences between female and male pediatric dentists (ANOVA, p > 0.05). Both groups behaved similarly in their acceptance of parents in the operatory.
Conclusions: The attitudes of pediatric dentists in Illinois regarding parental presence in the operatory were affected by the age of the child and the type of dental visit.
Keywords: Assessment, Behavioral science, Children, Health services research and Pedodontics
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