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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2013 Mar;23(2):94-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2012.01228.x. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Measuring dental fear using the CFSS-DS. Do children and parents agree?

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Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Pedodontology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam.



In most studies, the parental version of the CFSS-DS is used; however, no information is available concerning the extent to which parents are able to report dental fear on behalf of their children.


This study aims to assess whether parents are accurate reporters of their child's dental fear.


The CFSS-DS was filled out by 326 children in a classroom setting and by 167 parents (mostly mothers) at home on behalf of their child. Intraclass correlation coefficients were used as a measure of agreement between both CFSS-DS versions, and reasons for nonagreement were assessed.


Mean CFSS-DS for children was 21.15 (SD = 6.4) and for parents 23.26 (SD = 6.7). The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.57. After selection of the 73.1% most accurate reporting parents, the ICC was 0.90. In general, parents estimate the dental fear of their children higher than their children do (P ≤ 0.001), whereas parents of high anxious children (HAC) estimate this fear lower, and parents of low anxious children (LAC) estimate this fear higher. Anxious parents (AP) estimate the dental fear of their children significantly higher than nonanxious parents (NAP) (P ≤ 0.001), but the children of AP do not estimate their own dental fear higher than children of NAP.


In general, parents tend to estimate the dental fear of their children slightly higher than their children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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