The Effects of Two Planning Interventions on the Oral Health Behavior of Iranian Adolescents: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial



Pakpour AH, Gholami M, Gellert P, Yekaninejad MS, Dombrowski SU & Webb TL (2016) The Effects of Two Planning Interventions on the Oral Health Behavior of Iranian Adolescents: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50 (3), pp. 409-418.

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a planning intervention (specifying when, where, and how to act) and an implementation intention intervention (specifying the same in the format of an if-then plan) in increasing self-reported brushing in adolescents.  Methods The study adopted a cluster randomized controlled trial design, and 1158 students in 48 schools were randomized to planning, implementation intention, or active control conditions. After baseline assessment, all participants received a leaflet containing information and recommendations on oral health and instructions on correct brushing behavior. After reading the leaflets, they were provided with a toothbrush and toothpaste plus a calendar in which to record their brushing. Participants in the planning condition and in the implementation intention condition also received instructions to form specific plans regarding brushing behavior. Self-reported brushing, perceived behavioral control, self-monitoring, intention, frequency of planning, oral health-related quality of life, and dental plaque and periodontal status were measured 1 and 6 months later.  Results Both intervention conditions showed a significant improvement in the frequency of self-reported brushing, self-monitoring, frequency of planning, intention, perceived behavioral control, plaque index, periodontal health, and oral health-related quality of life compared to the control condition at both follow-ups. Comparing the two intervention conditions revealed that adolescents who received the implementation intention intervention had significantly greater improvement in the frequency of self-reported brushing, intention, frequency of planning, and periodontal health than those in planning condition.  Conclusions Taken together, the findings suggest that forming implementation intentions as well as planning has the potential to increase dental self-reported brushing rates in adolescents, but that forming implementation intentions has the strongest impact on dental hygiene behavior and is, therefore, recommended.

Oral health; Adolescents; Planning; Volitional intervention

Annals of Behavioral Medicine: Volume 50, Issue 3

Publication date30/06/2016
Publication date online20/01/2016

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Dr Stephan Dombrowski
Dr Stephan Dombrowski

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Psychology