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J Dent Educ. 2003 May;67(5):542-8.

Stress management for dental students performing their first pediatric restorative procedure.

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Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown 26506-6040, USA.


Research has demonstrated that dental students experience considerable stress during their training. Students' anxiety is likely to be especially high when they perform their first pediatric restorative procedure. The aims of this study were to provide a description of dental students' level of anxiety and typical coping strategies and to evaluate the use of a distress management intervention for reducing anxiety around their first pediatric restorative procedure. Dental students were randomly assigned to either an Anxiety Management or an Attention Control group. The management group received training on relaxation strategies (i.e., deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation). The control group attended a lecture on the relation among stress, anxiety, and health. No significant differences were found between group levels of anxiety related to their first pediatric restorative procedure. Information is provided on students' reported level of anxiety and general coping strategies. Limitations of the current study and suggestions for future research are provided.

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