Patient-dentist relationship and dental anxiety among young Sudanese adult patients
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To evaluate the effects of the patient-dentist relationship on dental anxiety among young adult Sudanese patients. In this cross-sectional study, 864 patients attending outpatient dental clinics of the governmental dental hospitals in Khartoum, Sudan were recruited; 51.2% were males and 48.8% were females, with an age range of 18-24 years. The questionnaire used evaluated the socio-demographics, education levels, economic status, patient experience, and also included the Dental Anxiety Scale, Corah (J Dent Res 1969 48: 596). High dental anxiety was reported by 22.2%, 29.5% reported moderate dental anxiety, and 48.3% reported low or no dental anxiety. There were statistically significant associations between dental anxiety and gender, time lapse since the previous dental visit (P < 0.004) and the reason for the previous visit (P < 0.001). In addition, the dental clinic environment (P < 0.002), the time waiting before seeing the dentist (P < 0.001) and the overhearing of pain expressed by other patients (P < 0.001) were also statistically significant. Negative comments by the treating dentist also had a statistically significant impact (P < 0.032). In contrast, a clear explanation of related dental care (P < 0.008), as well as the allowance of adequate time to discuss oral health (P < 0.006), had significantly positive effects. The study showed that the patient-dentist relationship had a significant association with dental anxiety, and may be an important target for improving the delivery and standards of oral health in dentally anxious patients in this region.
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