Dental Hygiene Fear Survey: reliability and validity of the Turkish version

J Dent Educ. 2008 Feb;72(2):183-94.


The aims of the present study were to 1) investigate patient anxiety as it relates to dental hygiene procedures and 2) conduct validity and reliability testing of the Turkish version of the Dental Hygiene Fear Survey (DHFS) to test its psychometric properties in the Turkish culture. The study consisted of 200 periodontal patients. The patients completed the DHFS, the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS), and a questionnaire designed to elicit sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Reliability was estimated by Cronbach's alpha. Validity was examined by correlating the DHFS with measures found in the literature that correlate with dental fear and anxiety. Construct validity was determined using exploratory factor analysis with a direct oblimin (oblique) rotation, which revealed a model with three factors accounting for 62.8 of the variance when item 11, which has the lowest item total correlation, was omitted. The Cronbach alpha coefficients of the subscales in the fifteen-item scale (generalized anxiety, dental hygiene specific anxiety, and catastrophe) were 0.83, 0.86, and 0.79, respectively. The overall reliability of the DHFS was 0.91. Significant negative correlations were found between total DHFS scores and age (p<0.05). Females reported dental hygiene fear more frequently than did males. The DHFS demonstrated good psychometric properties in spite of being translated into another language and used in a culture different from the one where it was originally developed. The Turkish version of the DHFS is a valid and reliable instrument and may be included in assessments designed to measure fear related to dental hygiene treatment procedures.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude
  • Attitude to Health
  • Culture
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology*
  • Dental Care / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Hygiene / psychology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / psychology
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy
  • Psychometrics
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Turkey