Application of Behavior Management Techniques for Paediatric Dental Patients by Tanzanian Dental Practitioners

The Open Dentistry Journal 31 December 2015 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601509010455


Background: Management of children’s behavior is an integral component of pediatric dental practice. Objective: To investigate the oral health care providers’ awareness, use and factors for choice of behavior management techniques when attending paediatric dental patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study among dental practitioners in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Data collection was done through interview using a structured questionnaire. The recorded information included: awareness and application of behavior management techniques (BMT) when attending a child dental patient, factors influencing choice of a particular technique, socio-demographics, level of professional training, working experience and facility profile. Using SPSS program version 18, frequency distributions and cross tabulations analyses were performed. Results: 74 dental practitioners participated in the study, of whom 49 (66.2%) were males and 44 (59.5%) were graduates. Most participants were aware of the behavior management techniques, ranging from 100% for Tell-Show-Do to 86% for distraction. A small proportion (9.5%) reported to have adequate skills, all of them were graduates. The use of universally accepted BMTs was reported by 65% of experienced practitioners, 61% of graduates, 59% of those reporting to have received formal training and all of those reporting to have fair/inadequate skills to apply BMTs (p= 0.01). Conclusion: Most participants were aware of BMTs, although few acknowledged having adequate skills to apply the techniques. They use BMTs during treatment of paediatric dental patients and their choice of the technique is mainly influenced by children’s factors.

Keywords: Awareness, behavior management techniques, paediatric, practitioners, professional training, Tanzania.
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