UK population norms for the modified dental anxiety scale with percentile calculator: adult dental health survey 2009 results

Gerry Humphris, John R. Crawford, Kirsty Hill, Angela Gilbert, Ruth Freeman

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    Background: A recent UK population survey of oral health included questions to assess dental anxiety to provide mean and prevalence estimates of this important psychological construct.
    Methods: A two-stage cluster sample was used for the survey across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The survey took place between October-December 2009, and January-April 2010. All interviewers were trained on survey procedures. Within the 7,233 households sampled there were 13,509 adults who were asked to participate in the survey and 11,382 participated (84%).
    Results: The scale was reliable and showed some evidence of unidimensionality. Estimated proportion of participants with high dental anxiety (cut-off score = 19) was 11.6%. Percentiles and confidence intervals were presented and can be estimated for individual patients across various age ranges and gender using an on-line tool.
    Conclusions: The largest reported data set on the MDAS from a representative UK sample was presented. The
    scale’s psychometrics is supportive for the routine assessment of patient dental anxiety to compare against a number of major demographic groups categorised by age and sex. Practitioners within the UK have a resource to estimate the rarity of a particular patient’s level of dental anxiety, with confidence intervals, when using the on-line percentile calculator.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number29
    Number of pages11
    JournalBMC Oral Health
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • Dental anxiety, Representative survey, Psychometrics, Percentiles, On-line calculator

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  • Research Output

    • 52 Citations
    • 1 Article

    Adult Dental Health Survey 2009: relationships between dental attendance patterns, oral health behaviour and the current barriers to dental care

    Hill, K. B., Chadwick, B., Freeman, R., O'Sullivan, I. & Murray, J. J., 2013, In : British Dental Journal. 214, 1, p. 25-32 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 88 Citations (Scopus)

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