Motivation for Dental Home Care: Testing a Self-Determination Theory Model


  • The first author designed the study and developed the items for the PCSDCQ and the SRQDHC, together with the second author. The fourth author provided critical and constructive comments to the initial design. The first author collected and analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript with support from the second author. The third and fourth authors provided critical and constructive comments to multiple versions of the manuscript. All of the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

A. E. Münster Halvari, Faculty of Odontology, Department of Dental Hygienist Education, University of Oslo, Geirmyrsveien 69/71, 0455 Oslo, Norway. E-mail:


The present research developed the Self-Regulation for Dental Home Care Questionnaire (SRDHCQ), based on self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000), and used it in an SDT process model of dental health behaviors and self-rated oral health. In this model, patients' perceptions of autonomy-supportive (relative to controlling) dental professionals were expected to positively predict patients' psychological needs satisfaction in treatment. Needs satisfaction was expected to be positively related to autonomous motivation for dental home care and perceived dental competence, which were expected to be positively associated with self-rated oral health and dental health behaviors. Confirmatory factor analysis of the 5-factor SRDHCQ model fit the data very well, and a structural equation model supported the hypothesized process model.