Children’s preferences concerning ambiance of dental waiting rooms
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Despite many advances in paediatric dentistry, the greatest challenge for any paediatric dentist is to remove the anxiety related to a dental visit and have a child patient to accept dental treatment readily. Minor changes made in the waiting room design can have a major effect on the way any child perceives the upcoming dental experience. This study was carried out to determine children’s preferences regarding the dental waiting area so as to improve their waiting experience and reduce their preoperative anxiety before a dental appointment.
This was a cross-sectional descriptive study using survey methodology.
A questionnaire designed to evaluate children’s preferences regarding the waiting room was distributed to new paediatric patients, aged between 6 and 11 years of age, attending an outpatient dental facility and was completed by 212 children (127 males, 85 females).
The analyses were carried out on cross-tables using Phi (for 2 × 2 tables) or Cramer’s V (for larger than 2 × 2 tables) to assess responses to the questionnaire items across age groups and gender.
A majority of children preferred music and the ability to play in a waiting room. They also preferred natural light and walls with pictures. They preferred looking at an aquarium or a television and sitting on beanbags and chairs and also preferred plants and oral hygiene posters Repetious.
The results obtained from this study may help the dental team decide on an appropriate design of their paediatric waiting room so as to make children comfortable in the dental environment and improve delivery of health care.