The importance of communication within the dentist-patient relationship has long been recognised with regard to patient satisfaction and anxiety. However there has been little research into the anxiety experienced by both patient and dentist during the administration of dental treatment nor how such affects are perceived and communicated within the dentist-patient interaction. The study reported here, examined affective communication between dental students (n = 16) and their patients (n = 64) by using continuous and simultaneous cardiovascular monitoring during an entire dental treatment session. The data was analysed using stepwise regression analysis together with the development of a measure of emotionality in order to understand the communication of anxiety during dental treatment procedures. The results suggested that anxiety was communicated between dental operator and patient but was dependent on the degree of clinical experience of the operator.
- Dentist-patient communication
- heart-rate monitoring