Year : 2007 | Volume
: 25 | Issue : 4 | Page : 177--182
A comparison between audio and audiovisual distraction techniques in managing anxious pediatric dental patients
AR Prabhakar1, N Marwah2, OS Raju1,
1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Bapuji Dental College and Hospital, Davangere, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Government Dental College, Rohtak, Haryana, India
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Government Dental College, Rohtak - 124001, Haryana
Pain is not the sole reason for fear of dentistry. Anxiety or the fear of unknown during dental treatment is a major factor and it has been the major concern for dentists for a long time. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the two distraction techniques, viz, audio distraction and audiovisual distraction, in management of anxious pediatric dental patients. Sixty children aged between 4-8 years were divided into three groups. Each child had four dental visits - screening visit, prophylaxis visit, cavity preparation and restoration visit, and extraction visit. Child«SQ»s anxiety level in each visit was assessed using a combination of four measures: Venham«SQ»s picture test, Venham«SQ»s rating of clinical anxiety, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation. The values obtained were tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis. It was concluded that audiovisual distraction technique was more effective in managing anxious pediatric dental patient as compared to audio distraction technique.
|How to cite this article:|
Prabhakar A R, Marwah N, Raju O S. A comparison between audio and audiovisual distraction techniques in managing anxious pediatric dental patients.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2007;25:177-182
|How to cite this URL:|
Prabhakar A R, Marwah N, Raju O S. A comparison between audio and audiovisual distraction techniques in managing anxious pediatric dental patients. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2007 [cited 2020 May 28 ];25:177-182
Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2007/25/4/177/37014
All dentists who treat children occasionally find themselves faced with a fearful child in his/her first visit to the dentist. Considering the awesomeness of dental equipment and the newness of the experience, it is not surprising that the child may be apprehensive. The role of a dentist in managing a child with anxiety, so that a child can become a co-operative patient is twofold - firstly, to control and treat the problem with which the child reports and secondly, to teach the child appropriate ways of managing the anxiety. Dentists have a wide variety of techniques available to them to assist in management of child with anxiety  such as tell-show-do, relaxation, distraction , systematic desensitization, modeling, audio analgesia, hypnosis, and behavior rehearsal. Among all these techniques, traditional behavior management techniques such as papoose board and hand over mouth technique can be successful, but the attitude of parents and dental professional towards these techniques is changing,  and now nonaversive techniques like distraction are becoming more popular.
The success of distraction technique in medical settings and in adult patients is well documented, but there are very few studies done to evaluate the efficacy of distraction technique in pediatric dental patient.
Therefore, the aim and objective of this study was to evaluate and compare audio distraction and audiovisual distraction in management of anxious pediatric dental patient.
Materials and Methods
Sixty children aged between 4 and 8 years, with no previous dental experience were selected from patients who came for their first dental visit. Consent was taken from patient's parents on the first visit along with brief medical and dental history of patient.
The children were divided into three groups of 20 each. First group was the control group (group A) on whom the treatment was performed under normal dental setup [Figure 1]. The second group (group B) listened to audio presentation through headphones throughout the course of the treatment [Figure 2]. The third group (group C) was shown audiovisual presentation through television during the entire treatment [Figure 3]. Each child had four dental visits - first was the screening visit and the next three were treatment visits during which various treatments were performed on patients such as oral prophylaxis in the second visit, cavity preparation and restoration in the third visit, and extraction after the administration of local anesthesia in the fourth or the last visit.
Child's anxiety level in each visit was assessed using a combination of four measures: Venham's picture test,  Venham's rating of clinical anxiety,  pulse rate and oxygen saturation,  which were measured using pulse oximeter (Biosys BPM 200).
The values obtained were tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis.
[Table 1].[Table 2].[Table 3] show the mean scores and S.D. of Venham's anxiety scale, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation during the four visits in control group, audio distraction group, and audiovisual distraction groups, respectively.
In the control group, there was statistically no significant difference between Venham's anxiety scale ratings during all the four visits.
In the audio distraction group, there was a statistically significant difference ( P P P P P P P P P P P  which was used in the study, is among one of the reliable measures of self-reported anxiety in children.  Venham's anxiety rating scale  is also an effective and reliable means of assessing anxiety in children. 
Pulse oximeter, which measures the pulse rate and oxygen saturation, is one of the most acceptable methods for measuring the physiological changes , as it gives continuous percentage measurements of the patient's arterial hemoglobin oxygenation as well as the pulse rate.
The observations from this study indicated that Venham's picture test gave statistically inconclusive results, but the choice of the picture by the children was consistent during all the four visits. Despite the inconclusive results, the picture test was an effective measure of the emotional state of the child at that particular instance. This observation was similar to the earlier observations made by Venham et al.  and Alwin et al. 
The results from this study indicate that although there was a decrease in the oxygen saturation as the pulse rate increased, there was no statistically significant difference. This was in conjunction with the earlier studies done by Yelderman et al.  who had observed a similar kind of pattern.
The reason for increased anxiety in the cavity preparation and restoration visits is because of the sound and the sight of the hand piece. This was also observed by Kleinknecht et al.  The peak of anxiety in the last visit is due to the highly stressful event of extraction. This finding was also observed by Baldwin.  The increase in anxiety in the last visit can also be due to the sight of the injection. The fact that the pulse rate was maximum during the injection phase indicates that increase is psychosomatic in origin. Possibly, the anticipation of injection provides sympathetic stimulation and catecholamine release, which accounts for greater increase in pulse rate.
Observations from the results showed that audio distraction did not have a significant effect on reduction of anxiety. This was also observed by Aitken et al.  It was also noted that the anxiety ratings in this group were lower as compared to the control group. This may be attributed firstly to the relaxation effect of music, and secondly, because the sound of music will eliminate unpleasant dental sounds such as the sound of handpiece. 
The results from this study showed that audiovisual distraction was the most effective means of managing the anxiety in children. Although not many studies have shown the effectiveness of audiovisual distraction in managing anxious pediatric dental patients, some studies have shown its effectiveness in managing anxious adult dental patients. 
It is possible that our results differ because of the different methods and techniques that we have used. Reduction in anxiety in the audiovisual distraction technique may be attributed to a variety of reasons. Firstly, in our study, the patient chose the choice of distraction. According to Klein and Winklestein,  this will help the children to gain control over the unpleasant stimulus and give them a feeling of being in a familiar environment. Secondly, the child seeing the audiovisual presentation will have multi-sensory distraction as he/she will tend to concentrate on the TV screen, thereby screening out the sight of dental treatment, , and the sound of the program will help the child to eliminate the unpleasant dental sounds such as the sound of handpiece. 
Summary and Conclusion
Following conclusions were drawn from the study:
Audiovisual distraction technique was more effective in managing anxious pediatric dental patient as compared to audio distraction technique and normal dental setup.Dental anxiety is seen commonly during routine dental procedures and is maximum during the extraction procedure.The patients had an overwhelming response to music presentation and wanted to hear it at their subsequent visits.
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