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Publication Detail
Evidence-based dentistry: analysis of dental anxiety scales for children.
OBJECTIVES: To review paediatric dental anxiety measures (DAMs) and assess the statistical methods used for validation and their clinical implications. METHOD: A search of four computerised databases between 1960 and January 2011 associated with DAMs, using pre-specified search terms, to assess the method of validation including the reliability as intra-observer agreement 'repeatability or stability' and inter-observer agreement 'reproducibility' and all types of validity. RESULTS: Fourteen paediatric DAMs were predominantly validated in schools and not in the clinical setting while five of the DAMs were not validated at all. The DAMs that were validated were done so against other paediatric DAMs which may not have been validated previously. Reliability was not assessed in four of the DAMs. However, all of the validated studies assessed reliability which was usually 'good' or 'acceptable'. None of the current DAMs used a formal sample size technique. Diversity was seen between the studies ranging from a few simple pictograms to lists of questions reported by either the individual or an observer. CONCLUSION: To date there is no scale that can be considered as a gold standard, and there is a need to further develop an anxiety scale with a cognitive component for children and adolescents.
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