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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2019 Aug;156(2):169-177.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2019.03.017.

Information retention of orthodontic patients and parents: A randomized controlled trial.

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Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Bournemouth, United Kingdom; Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.



A randomized controlled trial was undertaken to compare the efficacy of 3 methods of delivering information on short- and long-term recall of information in orthodontic patients and parents.


Participants who received an audiovisual presentation on orthodontic treatment were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 written information groups (leaflets, generic mind map, or participant's customized mind map). A questionnaire was used to assess short- and long-term retention of information (maximum score 30).


Eighty-eight patients (94.6%) and 77 parents (86.5%) completed the study. The average knowledge scores at baseline for the patient groups were 17.71 95 CI 16.28-19.14), 16.58 (14.67-18.49), and 17.37 (15.92-18.81), respectively. The parents' knowledge scores for the 3 groups were 19.06 (17.51-20.62), 19.39 (17.44-21.35), and 18.76 (17.19-20.33), respectively. The short- and long-term knowledge scores improved over baseline in all 3 groups (P <0.0001). The parents achieved higher scores than the patients (P = 0.002) and their rate of forgetting information was less. The knowledge scores of the mind map groups were higher than that of the leaflet group for all cohorts (P = 0.025). No statistical difference was found between the type of mind map. The correlation between patient and parent knowledge scores was significant (P <0.0001) at all 3 time points.


Provision of an audiovisual presentation supplemented with 1 of 3 written information methods is an effective way of delivering information. There was a significant improvement in the retention of information with the use of mind maps compared with leaflets. The generic mind map is equally as effective, more consistent in information delivered, and less labor intensive than the individual customized mind map and therefore would be our recommendation. Participation of parents is important because they comprehend and retain information better. In this study, 100% of parents shared information with their children, perhaps improving the patients' recall.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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