Reliability and validity of the Korean version of the Dental Fear Survey

  • Kim, Ah-Hyeon (Department of dentistry, Dental spa Clinic) ;
  • Shim, Youn-Soo (Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Sunmoon University) ;
  • Park, So-Young (Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Vision University) ;
  • Kim, Hee-Won (DoJang Middle School) ;
  • An, So-Youn (Department of Pediatric dentistry, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University)
  • Received : 2015.06.24
  • Accepted : 2015.07.06
  • Published : 2015.06.30


Background: Many people experience varying levels of discomfort when confronted with the prospect of dental treatment. Dental treatment can be a traumatic experience, especially for children and adolescents with dental anxiety. In this age group, dental fear causes a significant problem in dental management and has been related to severe dental caries and dental pain. The Dental Fear Survey (DFS) is the most widely used measure of dental fear. This study was undertaken to develop the Korean version of the DFS (K-DFS) and test its reliability and validity. Methods: The K-DFS, which uses projective techniques to measure children's and adolescents' dental fear, was developed. The DFS was translated into Korean and participants were selected via convenience sampling. Reliability and validity were tested using data from a sample of 813 middle school students in Gyeonggi Province, selected from the Self questionnaire survey. The K-DFS was administered twice to 102 adolescents aged 12-15 years. Results: The K-DFS had high internal consistency reliability (99.1%) but low test-retest reliability. Conclusions: The results indicate that the Korean versions of the DFS have good internal consistency reliabilities and test-retest validities. However, we need to further examine the test-retest reliability of the K-DFS and replicate the current study in different samples covering various age groups.


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