Date of Award

Summer 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Susan L. Tolle-Watts

Committee Member

Deanne Shuman

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 K56


Dental anxiety, a pervasive problem in the general population, is an important client management concern for dental hygienists. This study sought to determine the type and amount of instruction in United States dental hygiene programs in terms of behavioral strategies for the management of anxious clients, the difference in instruction between associate and baccalaureate degree dental hygiene programs, and the opinions of dental hygiene educators regarding these strategies. A self-designed, 19-item questionnaire entitled the King Behavioral Management Questionnaire was used to obtain data on a sample of 210 accredited dental hygiene programs. Part one of the questionnaire consisted of questions pertaining to behavioral instruction; part two consisted of statements about behavioral strategies that allowed respondents to express their opinions using a Likert scale. Results revealed that 86 percent of programs surveyed (n= 146) teach behavioral strategies for managing client anxiety. Types of strategies taught and percentage of programs teaching them were informational provision (96% ), distraction (51%), modeling (51%), relaxation (62%) and hypnosis (7%). Chi-square analyses revealed no significant relationships between associate and baccalaureate programs relating to the type of behavioral strategies taught. The Z hypothesis test revealed that baccalaureate degree programs spend significantly more time on teaching behavioral strategies for managing client anxiety than associate degree programs. Frequency tabulations reveal that the majority of dental hygiene educators have positive opinions regarding the use of behavioral strategies for managing client anxiety during dental hygiene care. However, only 28 percent of faculty have received instruction in this area. Results suggest that comprehensive instruction on behavioral strategies for managing client anxiety is not afforded to students in all dental hygiene programs, even though dental hygiene educators consider these strategies effective during oral healthcare.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).