The effects of providing periodontal disease risk information on psychological outcomes – a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Aim:

In a two arm randomized controlled trial this study compared the effects of a routine periodontal assessment consultation versus a routine consultation + individualized risk assessment communication intervention on patient thoughts and emotions about periodontal disease.

Materials and Methods:

Adults (N = 102) with moderate/advanced chronic periodontitis referred to a Periodontology Department of a large UK dental school, completed psychological measures before a periodontal assessment and again at the end of the visit. Intervention participants received an individualized calculation of their periodontal disease risk using PreViser Risk Calculator in addition to their routine assessment consultation.

Results:

In routine care, patients' thoughts about periodontal disease seriousness (p < 0.001) and susceptibility (p < 0.03) increased post-consultation and participants felt more positive (p < 0.02) about periodontal disease. These effects were also seen in intervention participants. Additionally, the individualized risk communication intervention led to patients reporting i) periodontal disease treatment as more effective than they did pre-consultation (p < 0.001), ii) feeling more confident in their ability to adhere to treatment as seen in increases in self-efficacy (p < 0.05) and iii) higher intentions to adhere to periodontal management (p < 0.03).

Conclusions:

Individualized periodontal disease risk communication influences psychological variables that underpin adherence with periodontal instructions.

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