Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 63–70

The Use of a Respiratory Rate Biofeedback Device to Reduce Dental Anxiety: An Exploratory Investigation

  • Quinn A. Morarend
  • Michael L. Spector
  • Deborah V. Dawson
  • Steven H. Clark
  • David C. Holmes
Article

Abstract

Anxiety experienced by individuals visiting the dental office to receive treatment is common. Evidence has shown biofeedback to be a useful modality of treatment for numerous maladies associated with anxiety. The purpose of the current pilot study was to investigate the use of a novel biofeedback device (RESPeRATE™) to reduce patients’ pre-operative general anxiety levels and consequently reduce the pain associated with dental injections. Eighty-one subjects participated in this study, forty in the experimental group and forty-one in the control group. Subjects in the experimental group used the biofeedback technique, while those in the control group were not exposed to any biofeedback. All subjects filled out a pre-injection anxiety survey, then received an inferior alveolar injection of local anesthetic. Post-injection, both groups were given an anxiety survey and asked to respond to four questions regarding the injection experience using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). With the use of the respiratory rate biofeedback device, there was a significant reduction of negative feelings regarding the overall injection experience, as measured by a VAS. Our findings demonstrate that this novel biofeedback technique may be helpful in the amelioration of dental anxiety, and may help produce a more pleasant overall experience for the patient.

Keywords

Dental anxiety Biofeedback Local anesthetic injection Pilot study RESPeRATE™ 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quinn A. Morarend
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael L. Spector
    • 3
  • Deborah V. Dawson
    • 4
  • Steven H. Clark
    • 2
  • David C. Holmes
    • 3
  1. 1.Private Practice Limited to PeriodonticsCedar RapidsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Periodontics, College of DentistryThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Dentistry, College of DentistryThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry and Dows Institute for Dental Research, College of DentistryThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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