Objective: The third nationwide survey of oral health in China revealed a poor oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) in elderly Chinese population. Dental anxiety (DA) has been associated with poor oral health. The aim of this study was to analyze the influencing factors of dental anxiety among community elders in Hangzhou city, China.
Methods: Multi-stage, stratified, cluster random sampling was used to select 1200 participants in Hangzhou city. Subsequently, a Chinese version of Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) was employed to survey dental anxiety and its influencing factors. Data were statistically analysed by univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: The overall DAS score of our cohort was 9.05±3.55. An individual with a DAS score ≥9 is considered to have dental anxiety; thus, the occurrence of dental anxiety in our cohort was 53.8%. A univariate analysis revealed that dental anxiety is statistically influenced by age groups, education levels, personality of the elders, pain tolerance levels, dental experiences, and relatives/friends with different dental experience (χ2=13.768, 11.550, 8.443, 92.382, 75.634 and 74.042, P＜0.05 for all comparisons). In addition, a multivariate logistic regression analysis of our cohort revealed that elders of relatively younger age, a higher monthly income, a lower pain tolerance, a painful dental experience, a painful relatives’/friends’ dental experience, or good physical condition had a higher risk of developing dental anxiety.
Conclusion: The elderly population in Hangzhou communities has a relatively high level of dental anxiety affected by age, monthly income, pain tolerance, dental experience and physical condition.
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