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Evaluation of a brief tailored motivational intervention to prevent early childhood caries

Publication Abstract

Ismail, A., S. Ondersma, J. Jedele, R. Little, and James M. Lepkowski. 2011. "Evaluation of a brief tailored motivational intervention to prevent early childhood caries." Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 39(5): 433-448.

Objectives: This pragmatic randomized trial evaluated the effectiveness of a tailored educational intervention on oral health behaviors and new untreated carious lesions in low-income African-American children in Detroit, Michigan. Methods: Participating families were recruited in a longitudinal study of the determinants of dental caries in 1021 randomly selected children (0-5 years) and their caregivers. The families were examined at baseline in 2002-2004 (Wave I), 2004-2005 (Wave II) and 2007 (Wave III). Prior to Wave II, the families were randomized into two educational groups. An interviewer trained in applying motivational interviewing principles (MI) reviewed the dental examination findings with caregivers assigned to the intervention group (MI + DVD) and engaged the caregiver in a dialogue on the importance of and potential actions for improving the child's oral health. The interviewer and caregiver watched a special 15-minute DVD developed specifically for this project based on data collected at Wave I and focused on how the caregivers can 'keep their children free from tooth decay'. After the MI session, the caregivers developed their own preventive goals. Some families in this group chose not to develop goals and were offered the project-developed goals. The goals, if defined, were printed on glossy paper that included the child's photograph. Families in the second group (DVD-only) were met by an interviewer, shown the DVD, and provided with the project's recommended goals. Both groups of families received a copy of the DVD. Families in the MI + DVD group received booster calls within 6 months of the intervention. Both caregivers and the children were interviewed and examined after approximately 2 years (Wave III: 2007). Results: After 6-month of follow-up, caregivers receiving MI + DVD were more likely to report checking the child for 'precavities' and making sure the child brushes at bedtime. Evaluation of the final outcomes approximately 2 years later found that caregivers receiving the MI + DVD were still more likely to report making sure the child brushed at bedtime, yet were no more likely to make sure the child brushed twice per day. Despite differences in one of the reported behaviors, children whose caregivers received the motivational intervention did not have fewer new untreated lesions at the final evaluation. Conclusions: This study found that a single motivational interviewing intervention may change some reported oral health behaviors, it failed to reduce the number of new untreated carious lesions.

DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2011.00613.x (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3177165. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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