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Effect of Motivational Interviewing on Rates of Early Childhood Caries: A Randomized Trial

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Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: Analyses included all participants whenever possible. Poisson regression supported a protective effect of MI (hazard ratio [HR]=0.54 (95%CI=0.35-0.84)—that is, the MI 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). Conclusions: A motivational interviewing-style intervention shows promise to promote preventive behaviors in mothers of young children at high risk for caries.
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Keywords: CHILDREN; DENTAL CARIES; MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING; PREVENTION; RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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