European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Comparative efficacy of active and passive distraction during restorative treatment in children using an iPad versus audiovisual eyeglasses: a randomised controlled trial

  • R. H. Attar
  • Z. D. BaghdadiEmail author
Original Scientific Article



This study aimed to compare the effects of two types of distraction techniques: passive, using audiovisual glasses (AV glasses), versus active, using an iPad, as an adjunct to local analgesia during vital pulp therapy in children.


Pain behaviour, and heart rates from an exposure group (treatment with the aid of an iPad) and control group (treatment with the aid of AV glasses) were compared in a randomised, split-mouth design using the Wilcoxon signed rank test (pain and behaviour) and paired t test for heart rate scores at p 0.05.


Children (39) (mean age 6.27 years) received the two treatment sessions. Generally, AV glasses had higher pain and behaviour scores than iPad. Pain results demonstrated marginal significant differences between the two distraction techniques during local analgesia administration (p 0.076) and caries removal (p 0.071). A significant difference between the two techniques during local analgesia administration only (p 0.017), in favour of an iPad. Average heart rates over the treatment intervals were lower among iPad group than those using AV glasses group. Patients preferred an iPad more than AV glasses (24 versus 15). Treatment sessions were significantly shorter for iPad.


Active distraction using an iPad demonstrated better performance than passive distraction using AV glasses.


Audiovisual distraction Active distraction Behaviour management Passive distraction Paediatric dentistry 


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive DentistryRiyadh Colleges of Dentistry and PharmacyRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, College of MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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