Virtual Reality Intervention to Reduce Child Anxiety on Dental Care: A Systematic Review

Ista Ardiagahayu Praptidina1), Pujiyanto2)


1)Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Indonesia
2)Department of Health Policy Administration, Faculty of Public Health,
Universitas Indonesia



Background: Unpleasant early dental experience pain and anxiety can result in se­ve­ral negative consequences, such as dental fear, uncooperative behavior, and general dis­satisfaction of the patients with dental care. Several techniques may be useful to re­du­ce pain and anxiety in child patients during dental procedures.This study aimed to re­view systematically the effectiveness of virtual reality intervention to reduce child an­xi­ety on dental care.

Subjects and Method: A systematic review was conducted by searching published articles from 2014 to 2019 from databases included Proquest, Scopus, Science Direct, and Springer Link. The keywords for this review were “Virtual Reality”, “Dental An­xiety”, “Dental Phobia”, “Children”, and “Pain Perception”. The inclusion criteria we­re En­glish, open access, and dental health. The independent variable was virtual reality in­­tervention. The dependent variable was fear and anxiety. After review process 5 ar­ti­cles from USA, Holland, UK, and 2 articles from India, were included in this review.

Results: After intervention, fear and anxiety scores in pre-dental care were lower in child­ren who were intervened than those who were not, and it was sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­ni­fi­cant (p<0.001). After intervention, fear and anxiety scores in post-dental care were lo­wer in children who were intervened than those who were not, and it was statistically sig­nificant (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Virtual reality is an effective non-pharmacological intervention to reduce fe­ar and anxiety in children during dental care.

Keywords: virtual reality, fear, anxiety, dental care, children.

Correspondence: Ista Ardiagahayu Praptidina. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java. Email: Mobile: 082276973102.


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