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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2013 Mar;143(3):303-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2012.10.018.

Information-seeking behavior of adolescent orthodontic patients.

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  • 1University College London (UCL) Eastman Dental Institute and Eastman Dental Hospital, UCLH Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.



Health-information-seeking behavior is the purposive search for health-related information. The literature contains few articles examining this behavior as it relates to orthodontics; therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how adolescent orthodontic patients seek information about their treatment, why they search for this information, and how they prefer the information to be available.


In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 subjects, 10 to 16 years old, who were considering orthodontic treatment. The purpose of the interviews was to identify themes that were then used to develop a questionnaire to investigate information-seeking behavior. The questionnaire was distributed to 50 adolescent orthodontic patients.


The main sources of information were talking to a dentist or an orthodontist (84%), talking to peers (66%), and reading information leaflets (64%). Surprisingly few respondents had used the Internet (8%). The preferred sources of information were talking to an orthodontist (26%) and family members (12%), followed by talking with the general dentist (10%), viewing a DVD (10%), or reading information leaflets (10%).


The preferred method of obtaining information was verbal, followed by audiovisual and written. Audiovisual information could be beneficial for those who find reading difficult or who struggle to retain verbal information. Few patients accessed information via the Internet, and this was attributed to concerns about the reliability of the information.

Copyright © 2013 American Association of Orthodontists. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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