Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Erica Brecher, DMD, MS

Second Advisor

Caroline Carrico, PhD

Third Advisor

Patrice Wunsch, DDS, MS


Purpose: Evaluate behavior assessment and agreement among dentist, guardian, and child. Evaluate child behavior by appointment type.

Methods: Patients recruited from the pediatric dental department at Virginia Commonwealth University for this convenience sample. Inclusion criteria: patients presenting for clinical exams and/or restorative treatment without the use of advanced behavior guidance between August 29, 2018, and March 7, 2019; ages 4-12-years-old; and scheduled with a single clinician. Appointments were stratified by difficulty. Behavior was assessed by dentist and caregiver using the Frankl Scale. Patient self-assessed cooperation using an age-appropriate modified Frankl Scale, developed for this study. Agreement assessed among the 3 scores at each appointment using descriptive statistics and Cohen’s Kappa. Behavior trends across appointment type assessed using Kruskal-Wallis test. SAS software (2013, Cary, NC). P-value < 0.05.

Results: Forty-one patient-guardian dyads enrolled in the study. Five dyads experienced multiple encounters. Demographics for the patients enrolled: 59% male; 44% Caucasian, 29% African American, 5% Asian, 2% Hispanic, 20% other/multiracial. Average patient age: 7.6 (range: 4- 12). Most patients had 1 encounter (n=36, 88%). Frankl Score agreement for provider/guardian was 79% (k=0.335), provider/child was 70% (k=0.248), and guardian/child was 81% (k=0.314). In disagreements, guardians rated behavior better than provider. Disagreement was split for provider/child and guardian/child, with the child tending to rate themselves higher, and the guardian tending to rate the child higher respectively. Marginal evidence that hard appointments resulted in poorer behaviors.

Conclusion: There is fair agreement between child, guardian, and provider. In disagreements, guardians tend to rate the child’s behavior better compared to the provider and child self-assessment. Dental providers tend to be more critical of patient behavior. Marginal evidence to support harder appointments result in poorer behaviors.


© Cole Anthony Staines DDS 2019

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission