Title: Parent’s Presence in the Operatory During Their Child’s Dental Visit: A Person-Environmental Fit Analysis of Parent’s Responses
Author: Kim et al.
Journal: Pediatric Dentistry Sept/Oct 12
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore whether parents’ satisfaction with their child’s treatment and their attitudes concerning the dental visit are affected by the fit between their desire to be present/absent during their child’s dental tx and whether they were actually present/absent.
Background: Parental presence during medical and dental procedures has long been a controversial topic. The controversy focuses on how the parents’ presence/absence affects children’s, providers’, and parents’ responses to the treatment. The guidelines of the AAPD, include parental presence or absence as a method to help establish effective dentist-child communication during dental tx.
Methods: Survey data were collected with paper-pencil surveys from 239 parents/guardians of regularly scheduled child patients at a pediatric dental clinic at Midwestern dental school; 185 of these parents fell into the consistent condition (“wanted to be with child and were with child” or “did not want to be with child and were not with child”) and 38 were in the inconsistent condition.
Materials: Parent baseline survey included questions about the patients oral health and dental anxiety and the parents oral health, dental fear and preferences concerning accompanying their child into the operatory. Parents were asked to reflect on whether they wanted to be/not to be with their child in the operatory, whether they actually were with their child, and how much they wished they had been with their child. In addition, six questions were asked to indicate 1. How satisfied they had been with the visit 2. How comfortable they had been 3. How friendly the dentist had been 4. How well the dentist had explained what would be done during the visit 5. How much they trusted the dentist and 6 how much they had learned about making sure that the child would have healthy teeth.
Results: The central objective was to determine whether the parent’s responses to their child’s dental visit differed as a function of whether they had encountered a consistent vs inconsistent situation concerning the fit between their own wishes and the actual visit. The parents’ own responses to their child’s visits showed that the parents in the consistent condition were significantly more satisfied with the child’s dental care than the parents in the inconsistent group. The older the parents were, the more they wanted to accompany the child into the operatory.
Conclusion: Based on the study’s results, the following conclusions can be made: 1. Compared to parents whose desire was not matched with the actual event, parents desire to be present/absent during their child’s dental visit matched the actual event: a. were more satisfied with their child’s dental appointment b. had a more positive attitude toward the dentist and the dental visit and c. had a more positive perception of their child’s response to the appointment. 2.Concerning the effects of the child and parent background and dental tx-related characteristics, the younger the child is, the older the parents are, and the fewer previous dental appointments and treatments a child had, the more the parents wanted to accompany their child.