UW School of Dentistry

DPHS 640

Clinical Management of Fearful Patients

Lisa Heaton

1 Credit / Quarters 13-15 (Autumn-Spring, Fourth Year)

Course Description

This course introduces problems of dental fear in dentistry, characteristics of fearful patients, assessment procedures, and treatment strategies for the successful management of anxious, fearful and phobic patients.

*This rotation is offered Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Each student enrolls and receives credit for one of the three quarters.

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge in the clinical management of fearful and phobic patients. The objectives will be for the student to be able to describe:

  • The etiology of fear, research findings regarding characteristics of fearful patients, the most fearful aspects of dental treatment, and environmental characteristics that increase anxiety in the fearful patient.
  • The common physiological and behavioral signs that may indicate that a patient is anxious, fearful, or phobic, as well as how conduct a dental fear screening.
  • Assessment procedures, including interview and questionnaires that elicit patients’ concerns and that help develop an effective management strategy.
  • Concept of management techniques.
  • Non-pharmacological management techniques including behavioral and cognitive strategies.

Course Outline

This course is partially self-directed using readings and videos provided on the course web site. Clinic session participation includes reviewing the course material, discussing hands-on applications of the materials with patients, and/or interacting with fearful dental patients. A written case presentation will be due at the end of each quarter and after clinic participation to insure that students have adequately reviewed the materials provided on the course web site and discussed in clinic session.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student is expected to complete all assignments, actively participate in one clinic session, and complete the written case presentation.
Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course. Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

Competencies Addressed

UWSOD Competency 23: Apply the principles of behavioral science that pertain to patient-centered oral health care.

*last updated: 11/7/2011