Objectives: To investigate current parental practices of LIAA’s management and perception of difficulties with behaviors of their dentally fearful children.
Method: 20 LIAA parents with children 3-9 years of age were recruited to complete a series of questionnaires designed to evaluate current parental practices related to handling their child’s dental fears. Questionnaires included reporting demographic information, parents’ comfortableness of child’s dental fear handling (CDFH: one to five scale), parents’ dental anxiety (DAS), parents’ version of the child's dental fear (CFSS-DS), and seven parental skills and effectiveness of those skills (SKILLS, 0: I don’t use it; 1: It works; 2: It sometimes works; 3: It doesn’t work). After descriptive analyses, participants were then dichotomized into two groups, based on scoring on the CDFH, the comfortable group (CG) scored >3 and the uncomfortable group (UG), <=3.
Results: 20% (n=4) of parents’ scores identified them as uncomfortable. Parents’ age, children’s age and gender, DAS and CFSS-DS were not significantly different between groups. UG parents tend to use more varied parental skills than CG parents (CG=3.6 UG=6.0, t=2.07, df=18, p=0.053). UG’s average score of SKILLS are significantly less effective than those in the CG. (CG=5.8, UG=12.5, t=3.41, df=18, p=0.003).
Conclusion: LIAA who do not feel comfortable handling their children's dental fear tend to use a greater number and variety of parenting techniques and still feel less effective than desired.
Keywords: Anxiety, Behavioral science, Effectiveness, Pedodontics and Stress
See more of: Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research