An exploratory study investigating children's perceptions of dental behavioural management techniques

Davies, E. Bethan and Buchanan, Heather (2013) An exploratory study investigating children's perceptions of dental behavioural management techniques. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23 (4). pp. 297-309. ISSN 0960-7439

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Background: Behaviour management techniques (BMTs) are utilised by dentists to aid children's dental anxiety (DA). Children's perceptions of these have been underexplored, and their feedback could help inform paediatric dentistry.

Aim: To explore children's acceptability and perceptions of dental communication and BMTs and to compare these by age, gender, and DA.

Design: A total of sixty-two 9- to 11-year-old school children participated in the study. Children's acceptability of BMTs was quantified using a newly developed Likert scale, alongside exploration of children's experiences and perceptions through interviews. anova and t-tests explored BMT acceptability ratings by age, gender, and DA. Thematic analysis was used to analyse interviews.


Statistical analyses showed no effect of age, gender, or DA upon BMT acceptability. Children generally perceived the BMTs as acceptable or neutral; stop signals were the most acceptable, and voice control the least acceptable BMT. Beneficial experiences of distraction and positive reinforcement were common. Children described the positive nature of their dentist's communication and BMT utilisation.

Conclusion: Dental anxiety did not affect children's perceptions of BMTs. Children were generally positive about dentist's communication and established BMTs. Children's coping styles may impact perceptions and effectiveness of BMTs and should be explored in future investigations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: E. Bethan Davies and Heather Buchanan, An exploratory study investigating children's perceptions of dental behavioural management techniques, International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2013; 23: 297–309, which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/ipd.12007. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: paediatric dentistry, dental anxiety
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute of Work, Health and Organization
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Davies, Eleanor
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 10:34
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2018 12:30

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