Title: A videotaped intervention to enhance child control and reduce anxiety of the pain of dental injections
Abstract: Aim While the psychological literature shows that perceptions of uncontrollability contribute to anxiety and other pathologies, interventions that enhance perceived control have been shown to reduce anxiety. This study attempted to assess a brief videotape to enhance child perceived control in a dental setting. Methods 101 children aged 7-9 years completed warm-up procedures and viewed either: a) the experimental intervention, a 2 minutes video of a dentist explaining what an injection will feel like and proposing hand raising as a signal mechanism; or b) the control condition, a 2 minutes video of Disneyland. Fear of dental injections was assessed on a 10 cm visual analogue scale before and after the intervention. Results In the experimental group there was a significant fear reduction from pre- to post-intervention, while this was not the case in the control group. Children with higher pre-existing levels of fear benefited more from the intervention than children with lower levels of fear. Conclusion The results of this pilot study suggest that intervention packages that impact child control have promise in lowering anxiety.