Libyan Journal of Medicine

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An evaluation of the sociodemographic determinants of dental anxiety in patients scheduled for intra-alveolar extraction

PE Egbor, O Akpata


Background: Studies on anxiety in patients having intra-alveolar extraction as well as the effect of patient’s sociodemographic characteristics influencing level of associated anxiety are few in our environment. The aim of this study was to statistically analyze the sociodemographic determinants of dental anxiety in patients scheduled for intra-alveolar extraction.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 93 consecutive patients attending the outpatient clinic of the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Benin Teaching Hospital for intra-alveolar extraction in the months of November and December 2013. An interview-based questionnaire, Corah Dental Anxiety Scale Revised (DAS-R), was administered to evaluate levels of dental anxiety. Sociodemographic characteristics of the subjects were recorded. Descriptive statistics and regression models were done with the independent variables (sociodemographic factors) and the dependent variable being the DAS-R. A P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The internal consistency of the scale used as determined by Cronbach alpha was 0.76. MeanDAS score was 8.12 ± 2.58. Dental anxiety and age of subjects showed significant inverse relationship. Females had a higher mean DAS score (8.76) than the males (7.37) (P=0.006). Residence (urban/rural) was not statistically significant. Singles reported the highest DAS score (9.41) (P=0.006). The educational level attained was significantly related to dental anxiety (P=0.005). Those with secondary school education had the highest DAS score (9.26). Class V social status had the highest mean anxiety score (P=0.012). Stepwise linear regression showed that the best predictors for dental anxiety were sex (P=0.008) and marital status (P=0.026).
Conclusion: This present study demonstrates that sex and marital status are the predictive factors for dental anxiety in the overall management of patients indicated for intra-alveolar extraction.

Keywords: sociodemographic; determinants; dental anxiety; intra-alveolar extraction
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