Development of a scale to measure the social and psychological effects of severe dental anxiety: social attributes of the Dental Anxiety Scale

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1996 Dec;24(6):394-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1996.tb00886.x.


This paper describes the development of a scale designed to measure the extent to which severe dental anxiety or phobia affects patients' social wellbeing outside of the dental setting. Items initially selected on the basis of clinical experience were administered to two groups: 78 patients seeking help for severe anxiety and 88 patients attending the general clinic of a dental hospital. Items on the scale discriminated between these two groups and also between patients who were reluctant to attend even when experiencing symptoms and those who attend more regularly. Although the scale correlated moderately well with Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale, factor analysis indicated that its items assess the effects of severe anxiety on the two domains of psychological reactions and social inhibition as they occur as indirect effects of dental care. The scale could be included in assessments designed to measure the social and psychological effects of severe dental anxiety.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology*
  • Dental Care / psychology
  • Dental Clinics
  • Dental Service, Hospital
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment
  • Social Isolation