Decreasing disruptive behaviour during routine dental visits: a video modelling intervention for young children

Jeffrey F. Hine, Ryan T. Hajek, Holly J. Roberts, Keith D. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the benefits of a collaborative partnership between paediatric dentists and behavioural health providers in which a practical video modelling intervention, with the aim to reduce disruptive behaviours in young children, is implemented. Methods: The video was created by a dentist using readily available technology and implemented in a busy practice setting. A clinical sample of 40 children, 3–6 years old, was recruited from a continuous sample of patients seen at the clinic. Participants were randomised into two groups and shown either the brief video model or a control video prior to a routine dental visit. All sessions were videotaped and independently scored by blinded observers. Behavioural data were recorded using 15-second partial-interval recording and included physical and vocal disruptions. Subjective measures of cooperation were also completed by observers and dental professionals. Results: Independent samples t-tests show that the treatment group had a significantly lower mean percentage of intervals in which disruptive behaviour was observed [t(38) = 2.94, P = 0.008] compared with the control group. Subjective rating scales revealed significantly higher ratings of cooperation for the treatment group from the dentist [t(38) = −5.19, P = 0.000], the dental assistant [t(38) = −4.01, P = 0.001] and the blinded coder [t(38) = −3.54, P = 0.002]. Significant relationships were found between the percentage of actual disruptive behaviour and subjective ratings of the dentist (r = −0.82, P < 0.01). Conclusions: Watching a brief dentist-created video model of expected procedures can reduce disruptive behaviour and increase cooperation for young children making their first visit to a busy medical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Behaviour
  • anxiety
  • paediatrics
  • video modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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