The influence of text messages and anxiety on pain perception and its impact on orthodontic patients routine

Daniela Lasmar de Mendonça Renata Rodrigues Almeida-Pedrin Nayara Caldas Pereira Paula Vanessa Pedron Oltramari Thaís Maria Freire Fernandes Ana Cláudia de Castro Ferreira Conti About the authors

ABSTRACT

Objective:

This prospective study aimed at assessing the effects of anxiety and a follow-up text message on pain perception after the installation of fixed orthodontic appliances and its impact on the patients’ routine.

Methods:

The sample of this study consisted of 103 orthodontic patients, 40 males and 63 females (mean age 20.5 years), distributed in two groups: G1 (n=51), including control patients that did not receive any post-procedure communication; and G2 (n=52), including patients that received a structured text message. In baseline phase, the patients completed a questionnaire to assess their level of anxiety prior to treatment. Pain was assessed by using 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) in baseline and ten times prospectively in predetermined time points. VAS was also applied to assess the patient’s routine alterations caused by the pain. All data were analyzed using ANOVA, Tukey, Mann-Whitney, t-test, chi-square and Spearman’s correlation tests. All statistical tests were performed with significance level of 5%.

Results:

Low-level and high-level anxiety was observed in 42.7% and 7.8% of the patients, respectively. Statistically significant correlation was observed between anxiety and pain (p< 0.05). Maximum mean pain intensity was detected in the second treatment day (G1=36.9mm and G2=26.2mm) and was significantly higher in G1. Nearly 53% of the patients in G1 reported alterations in the routine (18.8mm), while in G2 the percentage rate reached 28.8% (9.9mm) (p=0.013).

Conclusions:

Anxious patients report more pain after the installation of orthodontic appliances. Text messages were effective to reduce pain levels and to decrease the negative effects on patients’ daily routine.

Keywords:
Orthodontics; Pain; Anxiety; Visual analogue scale

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