Objectives: To describe and evaluate an individually tailored treatment programme based on a behavioural medicine approach to oral hygiene self-care for patients with chronic periodontitis.
Methods: Two experimental single-case studies with multiple-baseline design across different self-administered oral hygiene behaviours were conducted. Cognitive Behavioural techniques were used to organize the strategies for the intervention and the approach to counselling was inspired by and structured in accordance with Motivational Interviewing. The central features in the programme were the individual analysis of knowledge and oral hygiene habits, individually set goals for oral hygiene behaviour, practice of manual dexterity for oral hygiene aids, continuous self-monitoring of the behaviour and prevention of relapse.
Results: Both participants reached the predecided criteria for clinical significance in reducing plaque and bleeding on probing. Reductions of periodontal probing depth were achieved as well. The positive results remained stable throughout the 2-year study period.
Conclusion: The successful application of this educational model suggests that it could be used as a method for tailoring interventions targeted to oral hygiene for patients with periodontal conditions. The programme will now be tested in a larger randomized controlled trial.