COSMIN database

Assessing children's dental anxiety: a systematic review of current measures

Porritt, J., Buchanan, H., Hall, M., Gilchrist, F., and Marshman, Z.
The reliable assessment of children's dental anxiety can have many benefits for the dental team, service providers and dental public health practitioners. This study aimed to identify and evaluate self-report measures, which are available to assess children's dental anxiety. Systematic searches of the literature between 1998 and 2011 were conducted to identify relevant studies. The properties of each measure (reliability and validity) were assessed, and measures were evaluated against a theoretical framework of dental anxiety. Executing the search strategy generated 498 articles and of these 60 studies met all of the inclusion criteria. Seven 'trait' and two 'state' measures of dental anxiety had been employed to assess children's dental anxiety over the past decade. Reliability and validity estimates for the most widely used measures were good; however, many questionnaires had a limited focus in the aspects of anxiety they assessed. The paper summarizes the measures of children's dental anxiety which may be most useful for a number of different purposes and populations.
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol
1600-0528 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Emotional state
Physical state
Children (0-18)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the digestive system
Factors influencing health status and contact with health services
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
CFSS - children’s fear survey schedule
DAS - Dental Anxiety Scale
DFS - Dental Fear Survey
DFSS-SF - Dental fear schedule subscale short form
FIS - Facial Image Scale
MCDAS - Modified Child Dental Anxiety Scale
mDAS - modified Dental Anxiety Scale
mDFS - modified Dental Fear Survey
S-DAI - Dental Anxiety Inventory – short version
SFPr - Smiley Faces Programmes revised
SFP - Smiley Faces Programmes
VPT - Venham Picture Test