The authors evaluated the effectiveness of a videotaped behavioral treatment program in reducing dental anxiety. They compared patients who witnessed the intervention videotape with patients who saw a placebo program and with a no-treatment control group. The subjects were 66 patients who visited a dentistry clinic for prophylaxis and general dental treatment. Groups were balanced for gender and level of preference for information as measured by the Krantz Health Opinion Survey — Information subscale. Self-report, physiological, and observed behavioral measures were assessed at specified times. Results demonstrated significant Group X Gender interaction effects during the different assessment periods, with men responding best to the treatment videotape, whereas women responded best to the placebo videotape. The level of information preference was found to a be a significant contributing factor at certain assessment periods. Overall, these results suggest that preparatory videotaped interventions are particularly effective in decreasing dental anxiety when patient characteristics are matched with characteristics of the intervention.
- Behavioral intervention
- Dental anxiety