Objective: The aim of this study was to further develop and investigate a newly constructed 15-item questionnaire on strategies for coping with dental treatment, used by fearful adult patients undergoing regular dental care and those with phobic avoidance.
Materials and methods: The dental coping strategy questionnaire (DCSQ-15) was distributed to 77 individuals with dental phobic avoidance and 94 fearful patients undergoing regular dental care. Previous analyses of a 20-item coping questionnaire (DCSQ-20) revealed that 2 of 4 identified factors predicted regularity or phobic avoidance of dental care. However, one of these factors was considered related to catastrophizing thoughts and not to coping strategies and it was therefore removed in the present study.
Results: The reduced 15-item questionnaire was analyzed to identify its factor structure and a 5-factor solution was found. The five factors were labeled (i) 'self-efficacy', (ii) 'self-distraction', (iii) 'distancing', (iv) 'praying' and (v) 'optimism'. The factors of 'praying' and 'optimism' correlated significantly with dental anxiety and were assessed significantly higher and lower respectively, among individuals with phobic avoidance. A logistic regression analysis revealed that 'optimism', together with gender and dental anxiety, was predictive of the regularity or phobic avoidance of dental care.