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Dental Fear and Anxiety in 9-12 Years Old Children in Clinical Setting in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Normative Values and Types of Informant

Elmedin Bajric, Amina Huseinbegovic, Amila Zukanovic, Nina Markovic, Amra Arslanagic, Mediha Selimovic-Dragas, Elma Katana, Sedin Kobaslija.


Background: The most commonly used diagnostic tests for evaluation of the dental fear and anxiety (DFA) presence in children were psychometric scales, where interpretation in determining and using of their cut-off scores sometimes was not completely exact. Also, several studies have been conducted where the results were conflicting in terms of who better assessed the DFA presence - the children, their parents, or dentists. Objective: To determine the normative values in the child and parental versions of the Modified version of the CFSS-DS scale (CFSS-DS-mod scale) and to compare the ways in which children, their parents, and the dentist assessed the DFA presence in the dental office. Methods: Survey sample consisted of 200 children aged from 9 to 12 years, whose DFA presence was determined by the CFSS-DS-mod scale. Child parents answered to their version of this scale, and the dentist observed the child behavior in the dental office during the treatment using Venham Anxiety and Behaviour Rating Scales. Results: Parental version of the CFSS-DS-mod scale found to be reliable (Cronbach alpha = 0.955) and valid (67.87% of variance explained) instrument for assessment of the DFA presence in children. Two cut-off scores were determined in a child (37 and 43), as well as in a parental version of CFSS-DS-mod scale (36 and 44), respectively. Dentists assessed the DFA presence in child patients most accurately. Conclusion: The normative values of psychometric instruments should be considered prior to their use. The borderline area of DFA presence should also be taken into account in the future studies. Children could underestimate DFA existence by themselves while interviewing.

Key words: dental fear and anxiety, children, CFSS-DS-mod scale, normative values, types of informant.

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