Validation of a Facial Image Scale to assess child dental anxiety

Int J Paediatr Dent. 2002 Jan;12(1):47-52.


Objective: To examine the validity of a scale that uses faces as an indicator of children's dental anxiety.

Setting: Department of Child Dental Health waiting room, Newcastle Dental Hospital.

Subjects and methods: 100 children (aged 3-18 years) completed the Facial Image Scale (FIS) and the Venham Picture Test (VPT) in the dental hospital waiting room.

Results: A strong correlation (0.7) was found between the two scales, indicating good validity for the FIS. Findings also showed that a small, but significant, number of children are anxious in the dental context.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the FIS is a valid means of assessing child dental anxiety status in a clinical context.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Anxiety / diagnosis*
  • Dental Care / psychology
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results