Monday, November 30, 2009

The effects of lavender scent on dental patient anxiety levels: a cluster randomised-controlled trial

Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Metaxia Kritsidima, Tim Newton and Koula Asimakopoulou
King's College London, Dental Institute, Denmark Hill, London, UK

ABSTRACT
Abstract –

Objectives: To review the effect of lavender scent on anticipatory anxiety in dental participants.

Methods: In a cluster randomized-controlled trial, patients' (N = 340) anxiety was assessed while waiting for a scheduled dental appointment, either under the odor of lavender or with no odor. Current anxiety, assessed by the brief State Trait Anxiety Indicator (STAI-6), and generalized dental anxiety, assessed by the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were examined.

Results: Analyses of variance (anovas) showed that although both groups showed similar, moderate levels of generalized dental anxiety (MDAS F(1,338) = 2.17, P > 0.05) the lavender group reported significantly lower current anxiety (STAI: F(1,338) = 74.69, P < 0.001) than the control group.

Conclusions: Although anxiety about future dental visits seems to be unaffected, lavender scent reduces state anxiety in dental patients.

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