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01-08-2011 | Uitgave 6/2011

Quality of Life Research 6/2011

Influence of maternal dental anxiety on oral health–related quality of life of preschool children

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2011
Marília Leão Goettems, Thiago Machado Ardenghi, Ana Regina Romano, Flávio Fernando Demarco, Dione Dias Torriani



The aim of this study was to determine the influence of maternal dental anxiety on perceptions about oral health–related quality of life (OHRQoL) of preschool children.


A cross-sectional study was conducted with 608 mother–child dyads during the Children’s National Immunization Campaign in Pelotas, Brazil. Mothers answered a questionnaire on dental anxiety (DAS), socioeconomic status, use of dental services, and perception of their child’s OHRQoL (ECOHIS). The ECOHIS includes a child impact section (symptoms, function, psychological, self-image/social interaction domains) and a family impact section (parent distress and family function domains). Clinical examination of the children was performed to assess dental caries, dental trauma, and occlusal traits occurrence. The association assessment used Poisson regression models (RR; 95%CI, P ≤ 0.05).


Anxious mothers presented higher scores in the parent distress domain. Higher impacts on OHRQoL were observed in children presenting untreated dental caries; children whose mothers had not completed primary education; and those who had non-regular use of dental services.


Mean ECOHIS total score was not influenced by maternal dental anxiety. However, anxiety had a negative effect on the perception of the impact of the child’s oral health problems in the family, affecting the parent distress domain.

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