Journal Article

Are pre‐treatment psychological characteristics influenced by pre‐surgical orthodontics?

Susan J. Cunningham, Mark S. Gilthorpe and Nigel P. Hunt

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 23, issue 6, pages 751-758
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/23.6.751
Are pre‐treatment psychological characteristics influenced by pre‐surgical orthodontics?

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A number of investigations have looked at psychological changes occurring in association with orthognathic treatment. However, most of these studies have used a pre‐surgery questionnaire as the baseline measurement. There is little data relating to the true baseline, i.e. that prior to any active treatment. Until this aspect is investigated, it is not possible to assume that pre‐surgery is an acceptable baseline. This questionnaire based study aimed to assess changes in six psychological outcome measures between T1 (prior to any active treatment) and T2 (following pre‐surgical orthodontics/prior to surgery). The outcome variables were: state anxiety, trait anxiety, depression, self‐esteem, body image, and facial body image. Sixty‐two patients (39 females and 23 males) completed both questionnaires.

The results showed that intervention, in the form of orthodontic treatment, had a minimal effect on the chosen psychometric outcome variables. There was a significant reduction in satisfaction with body image amongst patients who initially reported mild to moderate dental/facial problems, whilst a moderate increase in satisfaction occurred in those patients reporting severe conditions initially. Also of note were significant increases in state anxiety amongst older patients whilst trait anxiety showed greater increases in females than males.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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