Objectives: The Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (VAS-A) has shown a significant correlation with Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS), but a discordance of 28% has been found between the two tests, yielding some uncertainties about their reliability. The aim of this study is to check VAS-A and DAS effectiveness comparing them to Spielberger’s State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Beck depression inventory (BDI).
Subjects and methods: 100 patients (38 males and 62 females, age 46.3 ± 13.3) filled out the DAS, VAS-A, STAI forms Y1 and Y2, and BDI at preoperative examination; the order of administration of tests was randomized. The statistical analysis was conducted with Shapiro test for gaussianity, multiple regression analysis and X 2 test.
Results: A significant correlation between all tests was found was found ( R 2 = 0.40; F = 18.58, p < 0.001), but 20 patients showed discordant values of VAS-A and DAS (STAI Y-1 ≤ 40 in 7 and more than 40 in 13); none of the tests showed a better correlation with STAI. In 7 out of 8 cases with BDI > 16 both VAS-A and DAS were elevated.
Conclusions: Our study confirms that VAS-A and DAS are reliable indicators of anxiety and may detect depressed patients also. Their comparison to STAI and BDI fails to show a superiority of any test; rather, our result confirm that the combined use of VAS-A and DAS allows to improve the detection of anxious patients in comparison to the use one test only.
Conflict of interest: None declared.