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Pediatr Dent. 2007 Jan-Feb;29(1):16-22.

Effect of motivational interviewing on rates of early childhood caries: a randomized trial.

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University of British Columbia, Oral Health Sciences, Vancouver, British Columbia.



The purposes of this randomized controlled trial were to: (1) test motivational interviewing (MI) to prevent early childhood caries; and (2) use Poisson regression for data analysis.


A total of 240 South Asian children 6 to 18 months old were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the MI or control condition. Children had a dental exam, and their mothers completed pretested instruments at baseline and 1 and 2 years postintervention. Other covariates that might explain outcomes over and above treatment differences were modeled using Poisson regression. Hazard ratios were produced.


Analyses included all participants whenever possible. Poisson regression supported a protective effect of MI (hazard ratio [HR]=0.54 (95%CI=035-0.84)-that is, the M/ group had about a 46% lower rate of dmfs at 2 years than did control children. Similar treatment effect estimates were obtained from models that included, as alternative outcomes, ds, dms, and dmfs, including "white spot lesions." Exploratory analyses revealed that rates of dmfs were higher in children whose mothers had: (1) prechewed their food; (2) been raised in a rural environment; and (3) a higher family income (P<.05).


A motivational interviewing-style intervention shows promise to promote preventive behaviors in mothers of young children at high risk for caries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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