Send to

Choose Destination
Br Dent J. 2016 Dec 16;221(12):785-791. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.952.

Motivational interviewing in general dental practice: A review of the evidence.

Author information

Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
SERIO, Science Park, Plymouth University.
British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London.


Objectives The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence regarding the use of motivational interviewing in the context of general dental practice, in order that practitioners can decide whether it might be an important skill to develop within their practices.Data sources The results reported in this study form part of a larger systematic review which sought to identify whether oral health promotion within dental practice is effective and how its effects can be optimised. Here, we focus on the papers describing motivational interviewing in dental practice published since 1994. The systematic review included searches of 20 online resources (including Ovid Medline and Embase).Data selection Papers which were not about oral health promotion and did not apply the behavioural and psychological theories, which underpin motivational interviewing, were excluded.Data synthesis This review included eight papers all of which were considered to be of robust quality, in terms of their research methods and seven of which were considered to offer externally valid findings. Five described randomised controlled trials and all of these RCTs demonstrated that interventions including motivational interviewing had a positive effect on oral health and health behaviour.Conclusions This review shows that the motivational interviewing technique, which is based on the concept of autonomy support, has potential for helping patients with poor oral health. Training in motivational interviewing for dental personnel could be a very useful addition to the skill set of practitioners and dental teams.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center