Changes over time in adult dental fear and correlation to depression and anxiety: a cohort study of pregnant mothers and fathers

Authors

  • Mimmi Tolvanen,

    1. FinnBrain study group, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Outi Hagqvist,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    • FinnBrain study group, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Anni Luoto,

    1. FinnBrain study group, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kari Rantavuori,

    1. FinnBrain study group, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Orthodontics, Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Linnea Karlsson,

    1. Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Mental Health and Substance Use Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hasse Karlsson,

    1. FinnBrain study group, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Satu Lahti

    1. FinnBrain study group, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author

Outi Hagqvist, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland

E-mail: omhagq@utu.fi

Abstract

We aimed to evaluate (i) changes in dental fear over time during pregnancy and after delivery among mothers and fathers and (ii) whether these changes inter-relate to changes in depression and anxiety. Longitudinal pilot data for the FinnBrain Cohort study were used. Of 254 pregnant families, 80% agreed to participate and 60% returned questionnaires at the first data-collection point. After three data-collection points [weeks 18–20 and 32–34 of pregnancy (H18–20 and H32–34, respectively), and 3 months after childbirth], 99 mothers and 74 fathers had filled out at least two out of three Modified Dental Anxiety Scale questionnaires and were included in this study. Other questionnaires used were the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Pregnancy Related Anxiety Questionnaire. All scales were analyzed as sum scores. Among mothers, dental fear decreased during late pregnancy and increased slightly after childbirth, but no statistically significant correlations between dental fear and depression or anxiety, except for fear of giving birth, were found. Among fathers dental fear increased and was correlated with depression and anxiety. Dental fear seems to fluctuate among women during pregnancy and could be affected by hormonal changes.

Ancillary