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O tratamento odontológico sob o olhar da criança: um estudo de representação social [Dental treatment from the perspective of the child: a study of social representation]

ALVES, R. D. O tratamento odontológico sob o olhar da criança: um estudo de representação social [Dental treatment from the perspective of the child: a study of social representation]. Master’s Dissertation – Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte. Natal (RN), 2005.  

Available at: https://repositorio.ufrn.br/jspui/bitstream/123456789/17061/1/RubianeDA.pdf

Abstract: Oral health measures directed to children are characterized by the lack of policies that consider the individual and their biopsychosocial aspects. As a consequence, it can be observed that a child’s dental experience has normally been prejudged as unpleasant and threatening. Thus, this study is aimed at investigating dental treatment from the child’s perspective using the theory of social representations for theoretical/methodological support. This theory was selected for being able to build practical knowledge surrounding the interrelations between social actors, the phenomenon and the world around them. The investigation was performed at Professor José Fernandes Machado State School, located in the Ponta Negra district of Natal-RN-Brazil. The participants were 30 children from the public elementary school system, aged six to ten years old, who had undergone dental treatment within the previous year or were being treated at the time of data collection. An in-depth interview and Thematic-Drawing-and-Story Procedure were used as collection instruments. Thematic Content Analysis (Bardin, 2002) was used to analyze the material collected in the interviews, whereas for Thematic-Drawing-and-Story Procedure, in addition to content analysis, the data were also analyzed by the Coutinho model (2001). The two instruments demonstrated similarity of content as well as complementarity and contained categories associated with the model for dental treatment in children, the description of the dental office environment, the perception of the image of the dentist, as well as psychological and behavioral manifestations. The results enabled us to understand determined reactions of the children in relation to dental treatment, which has been characterized by its technical-curative approach, where the motive for seeking treatment, the manner in which it is performed and the relation of the dentist with the child are all in evidence. Thus, this study intends not only to reveal the perspective of children faced with dental treatment, but also to contribute to a dental practice directed towards them, in this way instilling in the professionals who attend them a more concrete awareness of the needs, anxieties and feelings of these young patients.

Walter Trinca Copyright 2001 – All rights reserved.

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