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Do stages of dentistry training affect anxiety provoking situations?

A Obarisiagbon
CC Azodo
JO Omoaregba
BO James


Background: Undetected and unaddressed anxiety negatively affects performance in clinical learning environments.
Aim: The aim was to investigate the anxiety provoking situations in clinical dental care delivery among students of preclinical and clinical years and house officers.
Subjects and Methods: A 38‑item modified Moss and McManus clinical anxiety questionnaire, general health questionnaire‑12 (GHQ‑12) and the Zung self‑rating anxiety scale were the data collection tools.
Results: Of the 84 recruited, 79 completed the study giving 94.0% (79/84) response rate. The median age of the participants was 25 years with 50.6% (40/79) being 20-25 years. Gender distribution revealed that males constituted 60.8% (48/79) of the participants. House officers constituted 29.1% (23/79), clinical students 36.7% (29/79), and preclinical students 34.2 (27/79) of the participants. The top anxiety provoking situations using the modified Moss and McManus clinical anxiety questionnaire were extracting wrong tooth 3.24 (1.06), inability to pass examination 3.32 (1.01), achieving examination requirement 3.19 (1.01), fracturing a tooth 3.08 (0.98) and accidental pulp exposure 2.96 (1.04). Getting diagnosis wrong, help in faint episode, not developing radiograph properly and coping with children were the anxiety provoking situations that showed statistically significant difference in the 3 studied training stages of dentistry. Bonferroni post‑hoc analysis significant difference was in the preclinical and clinical students’ pair for getting diagnosis wrong, not developing radiograph properly and coping with children while house officers/clinical students and house officers/preclinical students’ pairs were for help in faint episode. Overall, 2.5% (2/79) had severe, 69.6% (55/79) moderate, 26.6% (21/79) mild clinical anxiety while 1 (1.3%) of the participants expressed no clinical anxiety.
Conclusion: Data from this study revealed that the clinical anxiety of moderate severity was prevalent among the studied dental healthcare students. The anxiety‑provoking situations were also found to be majorly similar in preclinical, clinical and post‑graduation clinical stages of dental training stages in Nigeria.

Keywords: Anxiety provoking situation, Clinical anxiety, Dental care, Dental health workers

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print ISSN: 2141-9248