Psychological Well-Being and Dental Health Experience of Adult Patients Attending Dental Clinic in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia

Zainab Mat Yudin, Cheryl Yip Ying Ling, Normastura Abdul Rahman, Nor Asyikin Fadzil


Background: The aim of this study is to evaluate the psychological well-being that included depression, anxiety and stress in relation to dental caries experience among adult patients attending outpatient dental clinic.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 106 adult patients who attended the outpatient dental clinic. Psychological well-being was evaluated using the Malay version of Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21M) questionnaire. Clinical oral examination was conducted to determine the caries experience using the decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) index.

Results: The prevalence of moderate to severe symptoms for depression and stress was 5.7% (CI:1.2-10.1) and 6.6% (CI:1.8-11.4) respectively among the patients. Meanwhile for anxiety, the prevalence was much higher at 19.8% (CI:12.2-27.5). The median (IQR) of the caries experience was 7.0 (IQR=7). Despite of high prevalence of anxiety among the patients, however it was not common in those with higher caries experience. People with normal to mild anxiety symptoms level (9.0) have significantly higher caries experience (p= 0.029). There was no significant difference of depression (p=0.099) and stress symptoms (p=0.452) with the dental caries experience.

Conclusions: Anxiety was prevalent among the patients attending dental clinic in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. Even though, there was no statistically significant difference in comparison between severity of caries experience and symptoms of mental illness, mental health screening would be very beneficial to recognize and channel the silence sufferer to the early treatment of this stigmatize disorder.

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Anxiety; Dental Caries; Depression; Mental Health; Psychological Stress

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