Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Malinda Husson


Purpose: To determine which method of anesthesia risk presentation parents understand and prefer across their demographic variables Methods: As a cross-sectional study, questionnaires were distributed to 50 parents of patients (<7 years of age) in the VCU Pediatric Dental Clinic. Parents were asked of their own and their children’s demographics, previous dental and anesthesia experiences, and anesthesia understanding. Parents were then asked to rate the level of risk of several risk presentations and finally asked which method of risk presentation they most understood or preferred. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, likelihood chi square tests, and repeated measures logistic regression. Results: There was no evidence of a differential preference due to gender (P = 0.28), age (P > .9), education (P = 0.39) or whether they incorrectly answered any risk question (P > 0.7). There was some evidence that the three types were not equally preferred (likelihood ratio chi- square = 5.31, df =2, P-value = 0.0703). The best estimate is that 60% prefer charts, 34% prefer numbers, and 36% prefer activity comparisons. There was a relationship between the average relative risk of general anesthesia and age (r = –0.38, P = 0.0070). Younger individuals indicate High risk more often and older individuals indicate Low risk more often. Conclusion: There was no preference of risk presentation type due to gender, age, or education, but there was evidence that each was not equally preferred. Healthcare providers must be able to present the risk of anesthesia in multiple ways to allow for full patient understanding.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

Included in

Dentistry Commons