To develop and test the methodology of an intervention to reduce avoidance of dental care among adolescents, and to
measure the respondents' beliefs regarding the intervention (credibility and cognitions).
Based on a group comparison
design a sample of 18 year olds (n=50) with dental non-attendance behaviour was randomly selected to three experimental and one
control group. Subjects were surveyed with one baseline questionnaire and one post-intervention questionnaire, to evaluate their beliefs
regarding the program. Two different instruments were tested: 1) cards representing different statements related to previous dental
experiences, possible reasons for attending (pros) and not attending (cons) dental appointments, and preferences for future treatment.
Cards were selected based on individual priority; 2) a brief, structured telephone interview based on Motivational Interviewing. The
instruments were tested separately (groups I and II) and in combination (group III). Subjects in the control group (group IV) were given
conventional health education.
Subjects in the experimental groups had significantly higher credibility scores to the
statement "How much easier do you perceive dental treatment to be for you, based on this program", compared with the control group
(p<0.05). They had also more positive beliefs to the statement "I think the interviewer liked to talk to me" (p<0.05) than controls.
A questionnaire sent to non-attending adolescents followed by a brief telephone call based on Motivational Interviewing
appears to be a credible intervention for adolescents avoiding dental care.
Vol.4 – n.4/2003
Harvard: E. Skaret, P. Weinstein, G. Kvale, M. Raadal (2003) "An intervention program to reduce dental avoidance behaviour among adolescents: a pilot study", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 4(4), pp191-196. doi:
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