Music Distraction Effectiveness in Dental Anxiety and Treatment Adherence in 6-Year-Old Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial

2018 • Volume 12 • Issue 1

Rojas-Alcayaga, Gonzalo A.; Alfaro, Karen; Ríos-Erazo, Matías; Herrera, Andrea C.; Barahona, Pilar



Dental anxiety can be a barrier to following healthy behaviours. Musical distraction is an effective strategy to reduce dental anxiety and improve treatment adherence. The aim was to determine the effect of musical distraction on dental anxiety and treatment adherence in 6-year-old children. Multicenter randomized control trial with 176 children who were allocated into two parallel groups. One group received usual dental care (N 88), and the other was exposed to musical distraction during usual dental care (N 88). The primary outcome was dental anxiety and secondary was oral health status and oral health care behaviours. Both were assessed at baseline, discharged and six-month follow-up. Mid/high dental anxiety was exhibited by 16.1 % of the children. Musical distraction had no effect on dental anxiety levels in the experimental compared with the control group at any of the time points assessed. The size effect was 0.35 and 0.15 (Cliff’s Delta) for baseline-discharge and 0.57 and 0.35 for baseline-six month. Only 47.7 % of the sample attended at 6-month follow-up. Dental anxiety is not prevalent in the sample and is not beneficially reduced by musical distraction. The educational actions of the dental care programme are not sufficient to attain permanent long-term changes in oral health behaviour.

KEY WORDS: musical distraction, dental anxiety, dental care for children, patient compliance.


How to cite this article

ROJAS-ALCAYAGA, G. A.; ALFARO, K.; RÍOS-ERAZO, M.; HERRERA, A. C. & BARAHONA, P. Music distraction effectiveness in dental anxiety and treatment adherence in 6-year-old children: A randomized clinical trial. Int. J. Odontostomat., 12(1):35-42, 2018.


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