Reassurance and Distress Behavior in Preschool Children Undergoing Dental Preventive Care Procedures in a Community Setting: a Multilevel Observational Study

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Abstract

Background The effect of reassurance in managing distress
among children who receive procedures of a less aversive
nature has not been fully investigated.
Purpose This study aimed to investigate the relationship between
reassurance by dental staff and distress behavior of
preschool children receiving preventive procedures in a community
setting.
Methods Nurse–child interactions (n =270) during fluoride
varnish application were video recorded and coded. Multilevel
logistic regression modeled the probability of the occurrence of
child distress behavior as a function of reassurance provision,
controlling for child-level and nurse-level variables.
Results Child distress behavior was positively related to nurse
verbal reassurance but negatively linked to the time that this
reassurance occurred. Both child initial anxiety and nurse
nonprocedural training increased the probability of observable
distress behavior.
Conclusions The use of verbal reassurance to promote reception
of mild invasive procedures was counterindicated, especially
when offered early in the intervention (ClinicalTrials.gov
number: NCT00881790).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-111
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Early online date6 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Reassurance
  • Distress behaviour
  • Preschool children
  • Multilevel
  • dental nurses
  • fluoride varnish application

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