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

This is probably the best systematic review we have of motivational interviewing in dentistry and oral health at this time. If you don’t want to read the whole study, I think the last line in the abstract says a lot:

Training in motivational interviewing for dental personnel could be a very useful addition to the skill set of practitioners and dental teams.

Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing Training for Primary Care Dentists and Dental Health Technicians: Results from a Community Clinical Trial.

When we think about how long training needs to be to produce competence and sustainable changes in MI learners, there is a lot of varied research. This study shows that one 8-hour training course produced sustained effects over time in various MI skillsets.

Motivational interviewing and oral health education: Experiences from a sample of elderly individuals in North and Northeast Philadelphia.

What’s the role of motivational interviewing in patient education? Are the two separate entities or do they overlap? My view is that patient education can be provided in a MI-consistent fashion, which in turn improves the self-efficacy and happiness of patients who are able to make behavior changes. This study does a really nice job of looking at these questions.

Motivational interviewing effects on caries prevention in children differ by income: A randomized cluster trial.

A really fascinating study that shows MI has a great impact of preventing caries in children whose families are of lower income. This certainly gets at the relational equity aspect of MI and has implications for other patient-centered communication styles (e.g. shared decision making).

The impact of motivational interviewing on communication of patients undergoing periodontal therapy.

I often talk about motivational interviewing and the impact it has on caries. But we do know there are good studies out there on periodontal disease as well. This isn’t looking at an outcome measure, but instead shows the impact of MI-consistent language on patient language.

Motivational Interviewing in Preventing Early Childhood Caries in Primary Healthcare: A Community-based Randomized Cluster Trial.

A fascinating article for several reasons. First, this was published in Pediatrics, not a dental journal. Most people in dentistry probably would never see it. But our physician colleagues are interested in the mouth as well. And we should be reading more widely more frequently. Secondly, this study saw a 60% reduction in caries in the MI group. That’s incredible!