Title: Factors affecting psychological stress in children who cooperate with dental treatment: a pilot study
Abstract: Aim Few studies have examined psychological stress and personal anxiety in children exhibiting cooperative behaviour during dental treatment. We assessed psychological stress and personal anxiety during dental treatment in cooperative children, and investigated the influence of various factors.
Materials and methods We measured pre- and post-treatment salivary alpha amylase (sAA) levels of 28 children aged 8–13 years and their parents. Children completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC); their parents completed the STAI. The IA group included children whose sAA levels increased >10%, whereas the DA group included children whose sAA levels decreased >10%. We used regression models to calculate the power of variables to predict children’s psychological stress.
Results The mean anxiety trait score in the IA group was significantly higher than in the DA group (t-test, P = 0.021). For children with higher STAIC–Trait scores, the OR for increasing sAA was 1.16 (95% CI [1.02–1.31]). Parental or treatment factors did not significantly contribute to incremental sAA levels in children.
Conclusion Well-behaved children with high anxiety traits may experience high stress levels during dental treatment; however, parental and dental treatment factors may not affect psychological stress in these children.