Experience of using a smartphone WeChat applet for dental anxiety assessment and preoperative evaluation: A nationwide multicenter study

Front Public Health. 2022 Jul 18;10:900899. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.900899. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Dental anxiety is a multivariate phenomenon that regularly occurs during a dental procedure. Although it may lead to patients’ safety concerns and adverse events in routine treatment, it is often ignored. The purpose of this research is to develop a novel WeChat Applet for dental anxiety (WADA) with the following features and aims: (1) to help patients with dental anxiety management; (2) provide patient with a physical status self-evaluation; and(3) provide a platform for online assessment and tele-consultancy by dentists. We aimed to test and verify whether such an applet could play a beneficial role before and after a dental procedure and facilitate management of high-risk patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: During the 12-month survey period (August 2020 to July 2021), a total of 180 patients aged 3-74 years from eight different cities (n = 180 at the end of treatment, n = 25 for the System Usability Scale (SUS) and follow-up interview) and 20 medical staff from eight different cities (n =20 for follow-up interview) were evaluated by WADA. At the end of the survey period, the results of the interviews were analyzed thematically.

RESULTS: WADA assessment results from 180 patients and follow-up interview results from 45 participants were analyzed. In this study with a male to female ratio of 2:3, 75% were found to be suffering from dental anxiety, 86% were found with postoperative complications, and 11 cases were found to have contraindications to surgery. The total SUS score for WADA is 72.25 above the mean score, proving that WADA is a relevant and useful tool before and after dental treatment. Based on the results of the interviews, the following themes were identified: patient satisfaction; dentists’ effectiveness; multi-center data integration; and increase its frequency of usage.

CONCLUSIONS: The WADA was developed for dental procedures and is effective for reducing treatment risks, improving patients’ satisfaction and dentists’ convenience, especially in terms of facilitating management of high-risk patient during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMID:35923975 | PMC:PMC9342676 | DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2022.900899

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