Comparing a motivational and a self-regulatory intervention to adopt an oral self-care regimen: a two-sequential randomized crossover trial

Psychol Health Med. 2015;20(4):381-92. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2014.951368. Epub 2014 Aug 22.


A sequential intervention to facilitate the adoption and maintenance of dental flossing was conducted among 205 students in India, aged 18-26 years. Two experimental groups received different treatment sequences and were observed at three assessment points, 34 days apart. One group received first a motivational intervention (intention, outcome expectancies, and risk perception, followed by a self-regulatory intervention (planning, self-efficacy, and action control). The second group received the same intervention in the opposite order. Both intervention sequences yielded gains in terms of flossing, planning, self-efficacy, and action control. However, at Time 2, those who had received the self-regulatory intervention first, were superior to their counterparts who had received the motivational intervention first. At Time 3, differences vanished as everyone had then received both interventions. Thus, findings highlight the benefits of a self-regulatory compared to a mere motivational intervention.

Keywords: action control; intervention; oral self-care; planning; self-efficacy; self-regulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Oral Hygiene / methods*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Efficacy
  • Self-Control*
  • Young Adult