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Effectiveness of a motivational–behavioural skills protocol for oral hygiene among patients with hyposalivation




The main objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a motivational-behavioural skills protocol for plaque control in patients with hyposalivation.

Patients and methods

In a randomised, evaluator-blinded, controlled trial, 60 subjects with hyposalivation (12 men and 48 women) were randomly assigned to two groups: the control group received basic oral hygiene instruction, while for the study (intervention) group, oral hygiene instruction was based on cognitive behavioural principles and motivational interviewing (MI). Both groups were given oral hygiene instruction once every 15 days, with a total of four sessions over a 2-month period: plaque extension and community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN), frequency and duration of brushing, frequency of interdental cleaning and scores based on scale of ‘self-efficacy for brushing of the teeth’. Clinical characteristics were compared between the two groups.


Both control and intervention group patients showed significantly lower plaque indices, bleeding indices and an improvement in probe depth after the 2-month study period. Interproximal brushing was significantly more frequent among the intervention group (p = 0.016).


In patients with hyposalivation, the application of oral hygiene instruction based on cognitive principles and MI offers benefits for periodontal health. Longer-term studies are needed to confirm these results.