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Dental anxiety in relation to mental health and personality factors. A longitudinal study of middle-aged and elderly women.

Journal article
Authors Catharina Hägglin
Magnus Hakeberg
T Hällström
Ulf Berggren
Lena Larsson
Margda Waern
Sigurdur Páll Pálsson
Ingmar Skoog
Published in European journal of oral sciences
Volume 109
Issue 1
Pages 27-33
ISSN 0909-8836
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Institute of Odontology, Department of Endodontology/Oral Diagnosis
Pages 27-33
Language en
Keywords Adult, Analysis of Variance, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dental Anxiety, complications, psychology, Depression, complications, Extraversion (Psychology), Female, Humans, Introversion (Psychology), Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Neurotic Disorders, complications, Personality Inventory, Psychotic Disorders, complications, Social Behavior Disorders, complications, Statistics, Nonparametric, Surveys and Questionnaires
Subject categories Psychiatry, Odontological behavioural science


Little is known about the longitudinal course of dental anxiety in relation to age, mental health and personality factors. In 1968 69 a representative sample of 778 women aged 38 to 54 yr took part in a psychiatric examination. Three hundred and ten were followed up in 1992-93. A phobia questionnaire, including assessment of dental fear, and the Eysenck Personality Inventory were distributed to the participants at both occasions. High dental fear was reported by 16.8% of the women at baseline and was associated with a higher number of other phobias, a higher level of neuroticism, more psychiatric impairment, more social disability due to phobic disorder, and a higher anxiety level. Among women who reported high dental fear in 1968 69 (n=36), 64% remitted and 36% remained fearful. Among women with low dental fear in 1968 69 (n = 274), 5% reported high dental fear in 1992-93. Chronicity was associated with higher neuroticism, lower extraversion, and more psychiatric impairment at base-line. Remission was associated with higher extraversion at baseline. Dental anxiety increased or decreased over time in concert with the number of other fears.

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