Motivational interviewing showed greater short-term improvement in plaque control

iStock_000016834391XSmall couple finger pointing at computer screen square

Good oral hygiene is important for the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. The aim of the study was to assess whether a motivational interview addressing the five dimensions of Leventhal’s theory performed better than conventional basic instruction on improving compliance with plaque control among patients with periodontitis.

Patients were randomised to receive either a standard consultation of  standard consultation with motivational interview.  Oral hygiene at baseline and at 1 month follow-up was assessed using the O’Leary Plaque Index. Patient satisfaction with the dental visit being scored using a specific questionnaire.

They found

  • The mean full mouth plaque score varied between 55% (experimental group) and 58% (control group) at baseline
  • A  greater improvement in oral hygiene in the experimental (21 ± 20% versus 4 ± 5%, p < 0.001) 1 month post-treatment.
  • The motivational interview group had better satisfaction scores that the control group 10.55 ± 1.53 versus 8.82 ± 2.40, p = 0.014.

The authors concluded

This new concept of motivational interview is a promising approach and can be useful for counselling-related periodontal disorders.

Godard A, Dufour T, Jeanne S. Application of self-regulation theory and motivational interview for improving oral hygiene: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Sep 6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01782.x. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22092542.


The abstract gives no indication of the number of patients involved in this trial and there is a large variation in the improvement in the experimental group.  As the study is only of one months duration the long term effect of the intervention cannot be determined.

Share on Facebook Tweet this on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+
Mark as read
Create a personal elf note about this blog
Profile photo of Derek Richards

Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

More posts - Website

Follow me here –