Revisiting comfort: Strategies observed in the direct observation study

Marisa Abbe, Joseph J. Sudano, Catherine A. Demko, Kristin Zakariasen Victoroff, Kristin Williams, James A. Lalumandier, Stephen Wotman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Surgeon General's 2000 report on oral health found that one-third of adults in the U.S. had not visited a dentist In the previous year. Fear of treatments received during a dental encounter can create a barrier to patients receiving care. Most studies of dental anxiety have focused on phobic patients; relatively few studies have explored attempts to provide comfort and alleviate anxiety among everyday patients. This study describes comforting strategies that were performed by dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists for their patient population as a whole. As part of the Direct Observation Study, 120 dental practices in Ohio were observed over a four-day period by trained research hygienists. Researchers observed and recorded 3,800 patient interactions with dentists and hygienists at 30-second intervals using 24 behavior-specific codes. In addition, observers composed qualitative notes detailing the patient visits and recorded in their notes specific comforting techniques performed by dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Dentistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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