- Anxiety, fainting and gagging in dentistry: Separate or overlapping constructs?
- Award date
- 11 November 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
This thesis aimed to increase the knowledge about severe forms of anxiety, gagging and fainting in dentistry and to investigate whether these phenomena are overlapping or separate constructs. In Chapter 2 a literature review of twin studies showed that the estimated heritability of specific phobias and fears varied widely. In Chapter 3 a framework was developed to classify dental fear, resulting in a three factor solution consisting of fear of invasive treatment, lack of self-control and physical sensations. In Chapter 4 the characteristics of memories underlying various levels of dental anxiety were described. Two-third of the memories of the dental phobics showed characteristics of PTSD, and only 8% of the memories of the low anxious individuals. In Chapter 5 was examined how the ‘vividness’ and ‘disturbance’ of a memory of a dental treatment changed over time in low and highly anxious individuals. In both groups a significant decline in memory vividness was observed, but where the disturbance of the memory of the highly anxious individuals increased significantly, it remained stable in the low anxious group. In Chapter 6 the co-occurrence of dental phobia and fainting was examined. Only 13.0% of the dental phobics reported to faint, supporting the notion that anxiety and fainting in dentistry are separate constructs. In Chapter 7 gagging in dentistry was investigated. The estimated prevalence was 8.2%. That gagging and severe dental anxiety are separate constructs is supported by the finding that most of the gagging individuals (84%) did not show high anxiety levels.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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