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Evidence of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for the management of dental fear in paediatric dentistry: a systematic review protocol

18 Aug 2017


Several techniques have been proposed to manage dental fear/dental anxiety (DFA) in children and adolescents undergoing dental procedures. To our knowledge, no widely available compendium of therapies to manage DFA exists. We propose a study protocol to assess the evidence regarding pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to relieve dental anxiety in children and adolescents.

Methods and analysis

In our systematic review, we will include randomised trials, controlled clinical rials and systematic reviews (SRs) of trials that investigated the effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to decrease dental anxiety in children and adolescents. We will search the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects=, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and the Web of Science for relevant studies. Pairs of review authors will independently review titles, abstracts and full texts identified by the specific literature search and extract data using a standardised data extraction form. For each study, information will be extracted on the study report (eg, author, year of publication), the study design (eg, the methodology and, for SRs, the types and number of studies included), the population characteristics, the intervention(s), the outcome measures and the results. The quality of SRs will be assessed using the A Measurement Tool to Assess Reviews instrument, while the quality of the retrieved trials will be evaluated using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions criteria.

Ethics and dissemination

Approval from an ethics committee is not required, as no participants will be included. Results will be disseminated through a peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open