Title: 0084 - Effects of Motivational Interviewing on Parent Knowledge and Early Childhood Caries


Peter Arrow (Presenter)
Health Department


Objectives: This study evaluated the changes in the parents’ knowledge of early childhood caries factors, self-efficacy, stress levels, and instrumental support, and the incidence of early childhood caries (ECC) after an early childhood oral health promotion intervention.

Methods: Consenting parent/child dyads who visited a local child health clinic in metropolitan Perth and regional city (Bunbury/Busselton) in Western Australia were randomised into test (motivational interviewing (MI)+anticipatory guidance (AG)) or control (lift the lip assessments by child health nurses). The test group was provided with three counselling sessions by counsellors trained in MI and AG. Parental factors were evaluated through a questionnaire at baseline and follow-up (20 months) and children evaluated clinically. Data were analysed using parametric and non-parametric tests for two groups and paired comparisons. Multivariate analysis and causal mediation analysis were also undertaken.

Results: Nine hundred and seventeen parent/child dyads were randomised (test n=456, age=3.2 months, SD 2.1, 232 girls) (control n=461, age=3.4 months, SD 2.8, 239 girls). There were no statistically significant differences in baseline factors between the groups. At follow-up, test parents had better knowledge of baby bottle usage (test n=381; mean=13.0, SD 3.2; control n= 350; mean=12.3, SD 3.6, p=0.03), and the test group parents’ knowledge of a child’s oral hygiene needs had improved, p=0.002. Multivariate analysis found improved knowledge of a child’s oral hygiene needs among parents at follow-up reduced the rate of ECC (IRR=0.06, 95% CI 0.01–0.45, p< 0.01). Mediation analysis indicated that the intervention improved parents’ knowledge of child oral hygiene needs and mediated in reducing the rate of ECC (indirect effect estimate=0.78 (95% CI 0.62 – 0.98, p=0.03).

Conclusions: The brief motivational interviewing early childhood oral health promotion intervention reduced the rate of ECC through a mediated pathway by improving parental knowledge of oral hygiene needs of young children.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:
Australian Dental Research Foundation; Australian New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE