A.J. van Wijk
- Experience with dental pain and fear of dental pain
- Journal of Dental Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 84 | 10
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Anxious people tend to overestimate the intensity of aversive events such as fear and pain. When an aversive event has been experienced personally, prediction is based on experience and is possibly less subject to bias due to anxiety. Therefore, it was hypothesized that subjects will overestimate fear of specific dental pains relative to subjects who experienced the pain or procedure personally. Samples of highly anxious dental patients (n = 48), patients waiting for periodontal treatment (n = 56), and psychology freshmen (n = 262) completed a measure of dental anxiety and the Fear of Dental Pain (FDP) questionnaire. All FDP items were extended with the question whether the subject ever experienced the pain personally (yes or no). Less fear was reported when the pain had been experienced personally, with the exception of the sample of highly anxious dental patients. The results suggest that fear of dental pain is a highly important covariate in dental pain research.
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