Cochrane Summaries

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Psychological interventions to improve adherence to oral hygiene instructions in adults with periodontal disease

Renz A, Ide M, Newton T, Robinson P, Smith D
Published Online: 
8 October 2008

Periodontal health is an important aspect of oral health, as severe periodontal disease can ultimately lead to loss of otherwise healthy teeth. Adherence to oral hygiene is an important aspect of the treatment of periodontal disease. Traditional educational interventions have been shown to be of little value in achieving long term behaviour change.The aim of this review was to determine the impact of interventions aimed to increase adherence to oral hygiene instructions in adult periodontal patients based on psychological models and theoretical frameworks. The review identified four studies in which a psychological model or theory had been explicitly used as the basis for the design of the intervention. There is tentative evidence from these four studies that psychological approaches to behaviour management can improve oral hygiene related behaviours. However, the overall quality of the included trials was low. Furthermore, the design of the interventions was weak and limited, ignoring key aspects of the theories. Thus, there is a need for greater methodological rigour in the design of trials in this area.