- Negative events and their potential risk of precipitating pathological forms of dental anxiety
- Journal of Anxiety Disorders
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
The purpose of the present study was to assess which types of experiences are most closely associated with pathological forms of dental anxiety. Data came from a sample of dental patients (n = 1462). Pathological dental anxiety was operationalized in two ways: (1) a score of ≥36 on the Short form of the Dental Anxiety Inventory (S-DAI; high dental anxiety, HDA), or (2) fulfilling the screening criteria of specific phobia (DSM-IV-TR; dental phobia, DP). A wide variety of dental experiences appeared to be significantly related with both HDA and DP, while general traumatic experiences were not. No differences were found between women and men. Retrospective accounts of dental experiences involving helplessness were most strongly associated with having HDA [OR = 8.2] and positive screens of DP [OR = 16.2]. The results suggest that disruptive emotional and interoceptive reactions during dental treatment (particularly helplessness) have the greatest potential risk of precipitating pathological forms of dental anxiety.
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