Dental hygienists' views on communicative factors and interpersonal processes in prevention and treatment of periodontal disease

Int J Dent Hyg. 2010 Aug;8(3):213-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2010.00459.x.


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore views of DHs on communicative issues and interpersonal processes of importance in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.

Method: The qualitative method of Grounded Theory (GT) was chosen for data sampling and analysis. Audio-taped and open-ended interviews were conducted with 17 dental hygienists. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed in a hierarchical coding process, according to the principles of GT.

Result: In the analysis a core category was identified as 'to be successful in information and oral health education and managing desirable behavioural changes'. The core concept was related to four additional categories and dimensions; (i) 'to establish a trustful relationship with the patient', (ii) 'to present information about the oral health status and to give oral hygiene instructions', (iii) 'to be professional in the role as a dental hygienist' and (iv) 'to have a supportive working environment in order to feel satisfaction with the work and to reach desirable treatment results'.

Conclusion: The results describe a psychosocial process that elucidates the importance of building a trustful relationship with the patient, feeling secure in one's professional role as a DH and last but not least, the importance of having support from colleagues and the clinical manager to be successful in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Dental Hygienists / psychology*
  • Health Education, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Professional Role
  • Trust