23/04/2021 Medicine
DOI: 10.1007/s40368-021-00623-4 SemanticScholar ID: 233383472

Using process drama to explore the causes of dental anxiety in primary-school children

Publication Summary

Drama and role play can be unlisted as methods to allow children to view problems from a range of different perspectives that may differ from their own experience. Application of drama technique to assess the cause of dental fear and anxiety in a school setting is novel. The aim of this study was to engage primary school children in the core investigation via participatory arts methodologies, namely, process drama to gain understanding of the causes of dental anxiety. Sixty-three children, aged 7–10 years from three primary schools participated in this study. A 90-min drama workshop was carried in each school. The children were encouraged to identify the causes of dental anxiety using key concepts from process drama. The sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed. Four key concepts emerged: (1) fear of the unknown; (2) unpleasant sensory experience; (3) society’s perception and portrayal of the dentist; and (4) learnt negative associations with the dentist. Within each four key concepts, two sub-themes were identified. Role-playing and use of drama are a novel application and can reveal a considerable amount of information from the child’s perspective on the cause of dental fear and anxiety.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Kara Gray-Burrows

Dr. Kara Gray-Burrows

University of Leeds - Lecturer in Psychological Approaches to Health

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