Title: Psychological aspects in paediatric dentistry: parental presence
Abstract: Aim The scope of the present study has been the analysis of the main psychological approaches used during a first dental visit of a child to gain the necessary collaboration, focusing on the influence of parental presence during the visit. Methods The study was conducted on a group of 200 children divided into two sub-groups. In Group I the child was seen without the parent’s presence and in Group II the parent was present throughout the visit. Assessment of behaviour was by a simple ‘co-operative’ or ‘non-cooperative’ in achieving a dental examination and prophylaxis. Statistical analysis was made by c2 and Fisher’s exact test. Results In Group I (parent out) 89% of children were fully co-operative compared with 63% in Group II (parent present) which was significantly different (c2 18.503, p<0.001). In addition 8% of children in Group II failed to return for any further dental care compared with 1% in Group I, which was also significantly different (Fisher’s exact test p=0.1231). Conclusion Parental presence affects a child’s behaviour on an initial dental visit, which is better when the parent is excluded.