Psychometric properties of the Dental Hygienist Anxiety Scale in a group of general dental patients

Pia Andersson, Magnus Hakeberg, Kajsa H. Abrahamsson

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective.  The aim of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Dental Hygienist Anxiety Scale (DHAS) in a sample of adult general dental patients.  Materials and methods.  The DHAS is a questionnaire adapted to assess fear and anxiety of dental hygienist (DH) treatment. The DHAS contains four items and the sum of scores range from 4 (no anxiety) to 20 (extreme fear). A convenient sample of 80 patients in treatment at two DH programs in Sweden were consecutively included in the study. The DHAS was distributed together with questions regarding self-perceived oral health and experience of dental care at the first visit after a clinical examination performed by a DH. Re-test assessments of DHAS were conducted ∼ 2 weeks later in conjunction with the next visit to the DH before treatment (scaling session).  Results.  The results verified a significant positive correlation between the average DHAS sum of scores and global fear of DH and dentist treatment, perceived pain during the last DH treatment and female gender. The DHAS sum of scores had a high internal consistency, Cronbach's  coefficient of 0.89 and 0.87 at the first and at the second assessment, respectively. The test-re-test reliability of the DHAS sum of scores was acceptable, with an intra-class coefficient of 0.82 and Kappa coefficients between 0.49-0.78 for the four single items in the DHAS. Conclusions.  These results suggest that the DHAS has acceptable psychometric proprieties and is a valid and reliable scale to assess anxiety in DH treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages5
JournalActa Odontologica Scandinavica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Dentistry (30216)


  • Oral health
  • dental anxiety
  • dental hygienist
  • dental treatment


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