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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: OHPD


Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Anton Sculean, Poul Erik Petersen, Avijit Banerjee

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


Spring 2010
Volume 8 , Issue 1

Pages: 3 - 8
Share Abstract:

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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