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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 148-152

Objective assessment of the influence of the parental presence on the fear and behavior of anxious children during their first restorative dental visit

1 Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Restrorative Dental Sciences, Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 General Dentist Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Sharat C Pani
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy, Riyadh - 11681
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.189750

Clinical trial registration NCT02619981

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Aims and Objectives: Parents play an important role in the dental behavior of a child patient. This study aimed to assess the effect of parental presence on the behavior of the child and objectively measure the behavior using pulse oximetry. Materials and Methods: The study was registered with the clinical trials registry of the National Institutes of Health (NCT02619981). The children were divided into three groups, those who had no accompanying parent, those accompanied by their fathers, and those accompanied by their mothers. The Venham anxiety and behavior scores were used for subjective measurements whereas the objective measurement of fear was done by measuring the heart rate using a portable pulse oximeter at six critical clinical situations. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 21 (IBM corp. Armonk, NY, USA). Results: One hundred and twenty two children aged between 6 years and 8 years completed the study. Most of the children accompanied by fathers were males while most of the children accompanied by their mother were females. It was seen that females showed a higher mean heart rate than males at all steps. Children who had their parents outside the operatory exhibited lower anxiety and behavior scores than those whose parents were present; however, they showed a significantly higher pulse rate at all procedures. Boys had higher anxiety and behavior scores than girls, however, these differences were not statistically significant. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the presence of the parent in the operatory reduces the physiological manifestations of anxiety in children in their first restorative dental visit.

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