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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Prof. Dr. Jean-François Roulet, Prof. Dr. Dr. Niklaus P. Lang, Prof. Dr. Palle Holmstrup

Official journal of the Academy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, the World Congress of Microdentistry, and the European Society of Preventive Dentistry

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996

Publication:

Spring 2010
Volume 8 , Issue 1



Pages: 3 - 8
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A Strategy for Encouraging Young Adults’ Adoption of a Preferred Oral Hygiene Technique

Reinhardt, Claus H. / Noack, Michael J. / Wassmer, Gernot / Hurrelmann, Klaus / Klein, Klaus

Purpose: Adherence to dental preventive programmes in young adults is low. The aim of the present longitudinal study was to evaluate whether tutoring peers can be a compliance-enhancing tool or not. Methods: In Part 1, two randomly selected classes (49 female students, mean age 19.8 ± 2.3 years) were taught adult toothbrushing technique (the modified Bass technique) in a project-like manner. After the course, knowledge was tested using a class test, and compliance was evaluated using anonymous quantitative questionnaires. Compliance was defined as a reported degree of change from the easy-to-learn childhood toothbrushing techniques to the more efficient and challenging Bass technique. In Part 2 of the present longitudinal study, the compliance of these students was re-evaluated after having developed and applied themselves a programme of how to tutor peers in oral health. Re-evaluation of compliance was performed after 3 and 9 months. Results: In Part 1, 28.5% of the students were compliant after 1 week. Compared with Part 1, the compliance in Part 2 was significantly higher (P u 0.001), both after 3 months (90%) and after 9 months (82%). Conclusions: Tutoring peers can significantly enhance the compliance over a period of 9 months. Tutoring can function as a form of empowerment and can establish a strong sustained health engagement. Tutoring peers in health-related subjects can readily be implemented in schools and might be an additional means of oral health promotion with fewer additional costs.

Keywords: compliance, motivation, patient education

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