Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/53392
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Type: Journal article
Title: Are people with dental fear under-represented in oral epidemiological surveys?
Author: Armfield, J.
Slade, G.
Spencer, A.
Citation: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2009; 44(6):495-500
Publisher: Dr Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 0933-7954
1433-9285
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Jason M. Armfield, Gary D. Slade and A. John Spencer
Abstract: Background/: Dental phobia is associated with poorer dental attendance so epidemiological surveys requiring participants to undertake a dental examination may result in an under-representation of participants with high dental fear. Method: We compared the dental fear distribution of participants and non-participants in an oral examination component of a national epidemiological survey of oral health. Of 12,606 in-scope dentate people aged 15+ who completed a structured computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) survey, 5,505 (43.7%) participated in the oral examination. Dental fear was assessed with a single-item measure in the CATI. Results There was a significant difference between the percentages of participants and non-participants who rated themselves as “extremely” afraid, although the absolute difference (1.9%) was small. The association between extreme dental fear and participation was significant (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.56–0.77) in multivariate analyses after controlling for possible confounders. Females with extreme dental fear were also significantly less likely to undertake an oral examination. Conclusion: Even though people with dental fear and phobia may delay or avoid dental visits, they do not appear to be appreciably under-represented in oral epidemiological surveys.
Keywords: dental fear; phobia; bias; participation; epidemiology
Rights: © Springer
RMID: 0020083586
DOI: 10.1007/s00127-008-0454-6
Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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