The social validation of pharmacological approaches to the management of dental anxiety in adults: Impact of treatment urgency, method of intervention and treatment outcome

Noor Al Jaafer1, Maryam Izadi2, Blanaid Daly1, Tim J. Newton1
1King’s College London Dental Institute, United Kingdom
2King’s College Hospital, United Kingdom
Cite this article:  Jaafer, N., Izadi, M., Daly, B., & Newton, T. (2007). The social validation of pharmacological approaches to the management of dental anxiety in adults: Impact of treatment urgency, method of intervention and treatment outcome. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 35, 375-386.

Volume 35 Issue 3 | e1580 | Published: April 2007 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.3.375

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One hundred and twenty-eight adult patients attending a clinic at a United Kingdom dental hospital rated vignettes describing the management of an adult who was severely dentally anxious. There were 8 vignettes, which varied systematically along three dimensions: treatment urgency (presence or absence of pain), method of Intervention (psychological approach versus use of sedation) and treatment outcome (good outcome - individual overcame dental anxiety to attend regularly, or poor outcome - individual did not attend following the treatment). Participants were assigned one vignette at random and rated the acceptability and humaneness of the treatment approach using the Treatment Evaluation Inventory (Kazdin, French, & Sherick, 1981). Overall the psychological intervention was rated as more acceptable than the use of sedation (F = 7.60, p < 0.01), and interventions which resulted in good outcomes were rated as more acceptable (F = 148.8, p < 0.001). There was no significant effect of treatment urgency. Ratings of acceptability are strongly influenced by the outcome of the treatment regardless of the urgency of treatment need.

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