Comparison of three distraction techniques in reducing stress in dental patients

J Am Dent Assoc. 1984 Mar;108(3):327-9. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1984.0034.


Three types of distraction were investigated in the dental operatory with patients receiving amalgam restorations. The distraction conditions included an audio-comedy program, a video-comedy program, and a video game. The results indicated that both the video comedy and the video game successfully distracted patients during the dental procedure. The data suggest that successful distraction is accompanied by an increase in physiologic arousal. This finding contrasts with earlier reports of the use of relaxation in which a decrease in physiologic arousal occurs during dental procedures. It was suggested that the choice for use of the successful distraction procedures be based on other practical considerations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arousal
  • Attention
  • Audiovisual Aids
  • Dental Care / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Pain / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*