Storytelling using self-designed image-based storybook as tools for reducing dental anxiety in 5 to 12-years-old children: a narrative therapy


  • Amritha Krishnadasan Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Mathrushri Ramabai Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Jyothsna V. Setty Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sri Siddhartha Dental College, Tumakuru, Karnataka, India
  • Ashwani Mohan Department of Pedodontics, Karuna, Kakkad, Kannur, Kerala, India
  • Aparna Jai Krishna Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Mathrushri Ramabai Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Ila Srinivasan Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Mathrushri Ramabai Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India



Dental anxiety, Child behavior, Story book, Story telling


Background: Children commonly experience dental anxiety, marked by a general feeling of fear when they have not encountered the situation before. By incorporating positive dental information through storytelling or engaging dental activity books, children can be effectively reassured and mentally prepared for their initial dental appointments. Storytelling and storybooks in healthcare serves multiple functions such as educating patients and their families, promoting specific qualities, and enhancing behaviors.

Methods: A randomized clinical study involving 240 children aged 5 to 12 years was conducted. The children were randomly assigned to three groups of 80 each: group 1 (received storytelling with image-based storybook), group 2 (received only storytelling), and the control group (received neither). Pulse rate and anxiety assessment using animated emoji scale measurements were taken at the start of the appointment, after the intervention before treatment, and after dental treatment.

Results: The interventional groups 1 and 2 showed a significant difference compared to the control group for pulse rate and animated emoji scale. Group 1 exhibited the highest reduction in anxiety as measured using the animated emoji scale and pulse rate.

Conclusions: In conclusion, providing children with a dental storybook before dental treatment can decrease dental anxiety and improve their behavior during the dental treatment.


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Original Research Articles