Anxiety Management Strategies in Reducing Anxiety Level among Pediatric Dental Patients
Dental anxiety is the main reason why patient avoids and cancels dental appointments. There are different anxiety management strategies that can be performed to reduce dental anxiety especially in pediatric patients. This study compared the different anxiety management strategies in reducing anxiety level of pediatric patients. Dental clinicians employed non-pharmacological strategies namely guided imagery, distraction, tell-show-do, modeling and positive reinforcement when they have manage their anxious pediatric patients. Pulse oximeter was the tool used as indicator of anxiety levels that were recorded from the start of the dental appointment, during the treatment (after the anxiety management strategy), and after the treatment. Subjects of this study belonged to the pediatric dental category. Pediatric patients were chosen through stratified sampling technique. Subjects were grouped into five according to anxiety management strategies done by the dental clinicians to their respective pediatric patients. Another group of sample subjects were assigned as control group by which no anxiety management strategy was done prior to dental treatment. Comparison of the data were statistically computed and represented by t-test and ANOVA. Although the results of some studies concluded that Tell-Show-Do is the most effective non-pharmacological anxiety management strategy, it is also reflected in this study with a p-value of 0.036 which is less than 0.05 indicates significant difference among other anxiety management strategies. However, other anxiety management strategies were also effective at different extent. This study recommends the dental clinicians should practice proper anxiety management strategies when dealing with anxious dental patients, not only to rely on pharmacologic techniques that can compromise the health of the patients.
Index Terms - Anxiety management, pulse oximeter, dental phobia, pediatric