THE EXPERT ADVICE
oral hygiene-related behaviors. Their findings
are summarized in Table 1. All of the models
used several variables that increased the likeli-
behaviors. In their systematic review, Newton
and Asimakopoulou12 identified 19 studies that
tested psychological models and their effect on
pression, eye contact, gestures, posture, gait, and
touch can all be used to great effect. Touching a
person’s shoulder or upper arm, for example,
increases a person’s willingness to comply with
10 Touching also improves college stu-
dents’ class performance and can be a highly
effective teaching tool.
In order for communication to be effective,
the sender and the receiver share responsibilities.
Much empathy and concern can be expressed by
maintaining direct eye contact and listening attentively to a patient’s concerns. Those who wish
to learn more about the fascinating world of body
language should read “The Nonverbal Advantage:
Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work,”
written by Carol Kinsey Gorman, PhD. It’s an
excellent quick read that discusses the seemingly
endless ways in which we unknowingly communicate with our bodies.
TO BEHAVIOR CHANGE
Psychological models of behavior change provide a foundation from which to understand
Table 1 PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO BEHAVIOR CHANGE WITH RESULTS
THEORY/MODEL SUMMARY OF RESULTS
Health Belief Model Plays a small role in predicting the oral hygiene-related behavior of individuals with periodontal disease.
Theory of Planned Behavior
High levels of self-efficacy at baseline were
associated with higher frequencies of oral hygiene
behavior at three months.
Health Locus of Control Explored changes in health locus of control following periodontal treatment.
Led to improvements in self-reported flossing frequency,
dental plaque, and bleeding scores at four weeks post-
Social Learning Theory Included elements such as target setting, introducing cues to behavior, and providing feedback on performance.
Led to improvements in both clinical indices of periodontal
status and self-reported behavior.
COM-B Behavior change consists of three interrelated components: capability, opportunity, and motivation.
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