A comparison of opinions from parents of disabled and non-disabled children on behavior management techniques used in dentistry

The purposes of this study were to compare the acceptance of pediatric dental behavioral management techniques by 40 parents of children with disabilities with that of 40 parents whose children were not disabled and to determine the effect of prior information on the level of acceptance for both groups of parents. An instrument containing a demographic questionnaire and using a visual analog scale asked parents to indicate acceptance level of hand-over-mouth, sedation, restraint using Papoose board, and general anesthesia for either a check-up/cleaning, dental filling, or treatment of a toothache. One half of each parent group received a written description and rationale for the behavior management technique prior to rating acceptance, and the other half did not. Although differences were found between parents of the disabled and non-disabled and between those informed and not informed, only one technique and procedure (restraint for check-up/cleaning) was significantly different for acceptability (p 0.05), and that was between uninformed parents of non-disabled children and informed parents of disabled children. We conclude that having a disabled child or receiving a prior rationale for pediatric behavior management techniques was not significantly related to differences in acceptance of the techniques for the procedures described.