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Attitudes to dental hygienists: evaluation of the Dental Hygienist Beliefs Survey in a Swedish population of patients and students.

Journal article
Authors Kajsa H. Abrahamsson
Jane Stenman
K Öhrn
Magnus Hakeberg
Published in International journal of dental hygiene
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 95-102
ISSN 1601-5029
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 95-102
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1601-5037.2007...
Keywords Adult, Age Factors, Attitude, Dental Anxiety, psychology, Dental Hygienists, Female, Humans, Male, Manifest Anxiety Scale, Middle Aged, Professional-Patient Relations, Psychological Tests, Psychometrics, Questionnaires, Sex Factors, Sweden
Subject categories Dentistry

Abstract

The aim was to evaluate and test the psychometric properties of the Dental Hygienist Beliefs Survey (DHBS) in a Swedish sample of different patient groups and students. It was hypothesized that negative dental hygienist beliefs would discriminate between fearful and non-fearful study groups. The DHBS was distributed together with the revised Dental Beliefs Survey (DBS-R) and the Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). The study sample included 394 subjects (130 students, 144 general dental patients, 90 periodontal patients and 30 patients on a waiting list for dental fear treatment). The results verified that the DHBS discriminates well between dentally fearful and non-fearful study groups. The DHBS had high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.96-0.98) in all the groups. The correlation between the DHBS and the DBS-R was high (rho = 0.82, P < 0.001). Furthermore, the DHBS correlated significantly with the DAS, as well as with a low but significant correlation to age (more negative attitudes in younger age groups) and gender (more negative attitudes amongst women). Regression analysis showed that gender and the DHBS items: 23, 16 and 28, i.e. items related to feeling helpless, worries/fears not being taken seriously and fear about 'bad news' possibly preventing treatment, were the most important predictors of dental fear. The results suggest that the DHBS may be a valid and reliable scale to use in order to assess patient's specific attitudes to dental hygienists. However, the psychometric properties including test-retest analysis and the underlying factor structure of the DHBS need to be further explored.

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