Pakpour AH, Yekaninejad MS, Sniehotta FF, Updegraff JA & Dombrowski SU (2014) The Effectiveness of Gain- Versus Loss-Framed Health Messages in Improving Oral Health in Iranian Secondary Schools: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 47 (3), pp. 376-387. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-013-9543-1
Background: Adherence to oral self-care behaviors is low among adolescents.
Purpose: This study aims to examine effects of two message framing interventions on oral self-care behaviors and health among Iranian adolescents.
Methods: Cluster-randomized controlled trial, with four schools randomly assigned to receive gain-framed, loss-framed, or no messages. Brushing/flossing, attitudes, intentions, oral health related quality of life (OHRQOL), and clinical examinations were measured at baseline, two and twenty-four weeks. Data were analyzed using multilevel modeling.
Results: At 2 weeks, loss-frame participants reported higher brushing and flossing rates, and more favorable attitudes and intentions to brush, compared to the other groups. At 24 weeks, loss-frame participants showed better OHRQOL, gingival health and less dental plaque compared to the other groups. Attitudes and intentions mediated intervention effects for the loss-framed group.
Conclusions: Loss-framed messages were more effective than gain-framed messages in encouraging oral self-care behaviors among Iranian adolescents. These effects were mediated through attitudes and intentions. (clinicaltrials.gov number NCT01421108.)
Annals of Behavioral Medicine: Volume 47, Issue 3