The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
VC made the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. MH and UWB designed the study, participated in the statistical analyses and in drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.
Dental anxiety (DA) is a common condition associated with avoidance of dental care and subsequent health-related and psychosocial outcomes, in what has been described as the vicious circle of DA. Also, recent studies have found an association between the psychosocial concept of sense of coherence (SOC) and DA. More studies are needed to verify the relationship between DA and SOC, especially using population-based samples. There is also a need for studies including factors related to the vicious circle of DA, such as oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL), in order to further establish the correlates of DA in the general population. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between DA and SOC, OHRQoL and health-related behaviour in the general Swedish population.
The survey included a randomly selected sample of the adult Swedish population (N = 3500, age 19 – 96 years.). Data was collected by means of telephone interviews. Dental anxiety was measured with a single question. The SOC measure consisted of three questions conceptualising the dimensions of the SOC: comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness. The data collection also included the five-item version of the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-5), as a measure of OHRQoL, as well as questions on oral health-related behaviour and socioeconomic status. Statistical analyses were made with descriptive statistics and inference testing using Chi-square, t – test and logistic regression.
High DA was associated with low OHRQoL, irregular dental care and smoking. There was a statistically significant relationship between the SOC and DA in the bivariate, but not in the multivariate, analyses. Dental anxiety was not associated with oral health-related behaviour or socioeconomic status.
This cross-sectional national survey gives support to the significant associations between high dental anxiety, avoidance of dental care and health-related outcomes, which may further reinforce the model of a vicious circle of dental anxiety. The results further indicate a weak relationship between dental anxiety and sense of coherence.
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- Associations between dental anxiety, sense of coherence, oral health-related quality of life and health behaviour – a national Swedish cross-sectional survey
Ulla Wide Boman
- BioMed Central
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