Labels and descriptions of dental behaviour support techniques: A scoping review of clinical practice guidelines

Caoimhin Mac Giolla Phadraig*, Pedro Vitali Kammer, Koula Asimakopoulou, Olive Healy, Isabel Fleischmann, Heather Buchanan, Jonathon Tim Newton, Blánaid Daly, Jacobo Limeres Posse, Marie Therese Hosey, Carilynne Yarascavitch, Yvonne MacAuley, Chris Stirling, Aisyah Binti Ahmad Fisal, June Nunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: There is no agreed taxonomy of the techniques used to support patients to receive professional oral healthcare. This lack of specification leads to imprecision in describing, understanding, teaching and implementing behaviour support techniques in dentistry (DBS). Methods: This review aims to identify the labels and associated descriptors used by practitioners to describe DBS techniques, as a first step in developing a shared terminology for DBS techniques. Following registration of a protocol, a scoping review limited to Clinical Practice Guidelines only was undertaken to identify the labels and descriptors used to refer to DBS techniques. Results: From 5317 screened records, 30 were included, generating a list of 51 distinct DBS techniques. General anaesthesia was the most commonly reported DBS (n = 21). This review also explores what term is given to DBS techniques as a group (Behaviour management was most commonly used (n = 8)) and how these techniques were categorized (mainly distinguishing between pharmacological and non-pharmacological). Conclusions: This is the first attempt to generate a list of techniques that can be selected for patients and marks an initial step in future efforts at agreeing and categorizing these techniques into an accepted taxonomy, with all the benefits this brings to research, education, practice and patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1077
Number of pages13
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • anxiety
  • behavioral science
  • special care


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