Dental anxiety among adults in Turkey

Department of Oral Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
The journal of contemporary dental practice 08/2006; 7(3):75-82.
Source: PubMed


This aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of dental anxiety and related factors in a Turkish population.
The Turkish translation of the Dental Fear Scale (DFS) and the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were administered to 115 dental patients consisting of 21 subjects who had dental phobia and of 94 patients who did not. The scales were also administered to a non-clinical general population (N=183).
The Turkish version of the DFS was internally consistent and reproducible. The scale had strong correlations (r=0.80, p<0.001 ) with the MDAS. Female participants scored higher (45.2+/-18.1) on the scale than men (38.2+/-15.7). The DFS had a negative correlation (r=-0.25, p<0.001) with education level. There was a statistically significant difference between dental phobics and the remaining groups on the DFS total score. At a cut-off point 55, the sensitivity of the scale was 0.80, specificity 0.80, positive predictive value 0.48, and negative predictive value 0.95. Thirty-nine subjects (21.3%) in the general population had total scores above this cut-off point.
Dental fear is common in clinical and non-clinical settings in Turkey. The good psychometric characteristics of the DFS among Turkish participants supports its cross-cultural validity.

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Available from: Vedat Sar, Sep 29, 2015
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    • "According to some authors, however, the lower level of dental anxiety reported by men may be influenced by cultural norms of behaviour which do not allow men to admit fear (Corah et al, 1978), while women are more likely to share their emotional states (Stouthard and Hoogstraten, 1990). There are some reports indicating a negative correlation between the level of education and the level of anxiety assessed by MDAS (Tunc et al, 2005; Firat et al, 2006), but in our study we found no such correlation , similar to other studies (Hakeberg et al, 1992; Humphris et al, 2009; Ofori et al, 2009). "
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