Virtual reality relaxation to decrease dental anxiety : immediate effect randomized clinical trial
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Introduction: Dental anxiety is common and causes symptomatic use of oral health services. Objectives: The aim was to study if a short-term virtual reality intervention reduced preoperative dental anxiety. Methods: A randomized controlled single-center trial was conducted with 2 parallel arms in a public oral health care unit: virtual reality relaxation (VRR) and treatment as usual (TAU). The VRR group received a 1- to 3.5-min 360° immersion video of a peaceful virtual landscape with audio features and sound supporting the experience. TAU groups remained seated for 3 min. Of the powered sample of 280 participants, 255 consented and had complete data. Total and secondary sex-specific mixed effects linear regression models were completed for posttest dental anxiety (Modified Dental Anxiety Scale [MDAS] total score) and its 2 factors (anticipatory and treatment-related dental anxiety) adjusted for baseline (pretest) MDAS total and factor scores and age, taking into account the effect of blocking. Results: Total and anticipatory dental anxiety decreased more in the VRR group than the TAU group (β = −0.75, P < .001, for MDAS total score; β = −0.43, P < .001, for anticipatory anxiety score) in patients of a primary dental care clinic. In women, dental anxiety decreased more in VRR than TAU for total MDAS score (β = −1.08, P < .001) and treatment-related dental anxiety (β = −0.597, P = .011). Anticipatory dental anxiety decreased more in VRR than TAU in both men (β = −0.217, P < .026) and women (β = −0.498, P < .001). Conclusion: Short application of VRR is both feasible and effective to reduce preoperative dental anxiety in public dental care settings (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03993080). Knowledge Transfer Statement: Dental anxiety, which is a common problem, can be reduced with short application of virtual reality relaxation applied preoperatively in the waiting room. Findings of this study indicate that it is a feasible and effective procedure to help patients with dental anxiety in normal public dental care settings.
Lahti , S , Suominen , A , Freeman , R , Lähteenoja , T & Humphris , G 2020 , ' Virtual reality relaxation to decrease dental anxiety : immediate effect randomized clinical trial ' , JDR Clinical & Translational Research , vol. 5 , no. 4 , pp. 312-318 . https://doi.org/10.1177/2380084420901679
JDR Clinical & Translational Research
Copyright © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2020. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
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