SALIVARY ALPHA-AMYLASE AS A MEASURE OF ANXIETY BEFORE AND AFTER DENTAL TREATMENT FOR VISUALLY AND HEARING-IMPAIRED CHILDREN AND THEIR MOTHERS
Objective: Visual and hearing impairments are known to profoundly affect childrenâ€™s psychological development, including their anxiety. However, strong emotional relationship with their mother found in these children may help them cope. Measuring salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) in saliva samples is widely used in clinical settings as a reliable, non-invasive biomarker of anxiety level.
Methods: Our objective was to evaluate sAA levels in visually and hearing-impaired children and their mothers before and after dental treatment. This study included 60 children with visual and hearing impairments and their mothers. sAA level of both children and mothers was sampled while they were together in the waiting room before treatment. The children then underwent dental prophylaxis in a separate room, and their post-treatment sAA was measured immediately afterward. At that time, their motherâ€™s post-treatment sAA was sampled in the waiting room. Data were analyzed using a Wilcoxon test.
Results: sAA levels were found to differ significantly between pre-Â and post-dental treatment (p<0.05).
Conclusion: This difference indicates that reducing maternal anxiety would be of great benefit in reducing anxiety in visually and hearing-impaired children. Practical implications: Appropriately managing anxiety in this group of children can be of great benefit to dentists in daily practice, helping them provide the care that these children need.
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