This project will improve public health by developing a theory-based, web-delivered intervention to promote healthy behavior in dental patients.
To address a persistent “silent epidemic” of oral diseases in the United States and reduce associated health disparities, a new paradigm for promoting oral health behavior change is urgently needed. Patient education and risk-reduction counseling have been identified as central components of an overall plan for preventing oral disease. However, the typical approach of dental professionals is to provide oral hygiene advice, demonstration, or instruction, which generally have little impact on behavior. Although motivational interviewing (MI) has received support as a method for promoting oral health behavior change, constraints in dental practice settings limit the practicality of such counseling. As a step toward developing novel, effective, high-impact approaches to promoting behaviors that reduce risks for oral disease, thsi study will use a mixed methods research project to develop a web-delivered adaptation of MI for increasing patients' health-promoting behavior (e.g., oral hygiene) and decreasing their health-risk behavior (e.g. tobacco and other substance use). This work will lay the groundwork for future demonstrations of the intervention’s feasibility and effectiveness in dental practice settings.
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)