Objective: This study aimed to identify and compare the pathways of endodontic fear and anxiety amongst East Asian origin patients attending Griffith University’s Dental Clinic, Gold Coast, Australia.
Methods: East Asian patients who attended the Griffith University dental clinics were included in this study. The “My Endodontic Fear” survey was used. The pathways involved in self-perception of dental fear and anxiety were assessed through 5 different questions. Chi-square test was for statistical analysis and the level of significance was set at P<0.05.
Results: One hundred and forty six participants (n=146) (ages 18-62 years) of East Asian descent met criteria to participate. 58.2% were females, and 41.8% males. The ethnicities were split into Chinese origin and non-Chinese origin (Korean, Phillipino, Japanese, Vietnamese). Results indicate multiple pathways affect met the criteria the origin of fear, regardless of ethnicity. The Cognitive Conditioning pathway was the primary pathway selected by the Chinese and non-Chinese sub groups (51.4%, 43.6%) followed by the Informative (38.3%, 38.5%), then Vicarious (27.1%, 33.3%) and Parental (18.7%, 33.3%) pathways respectively.The Verbal Threat pathway was the least selected pathway for both groups, however the non- Chinese groups selected this pathway significantly more often than the Chinese group (P<0.001).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the Cognitive Conditioning pathway was the primary fear and anxiety pathway utilized by both East Asian sub-groups. Understanding how patients develop fear and anxiety can help treating dentists discuss triggering factors for patients and alleviate undue anxiety prior to treatment.