Get access

A single session of motivational interviewing as an additive means to improve adherence in periodontal infection control: a randomized controlled trial


  • Conflict of interest and source of funding statement
  • The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest in this study.
  • The study was supported by; TUA-research, Gothenburg, Sweden and The foundation Swedish Patent Revenue Fund for Research in Preventive Odontology.


Jane Stenman

Department of Periodontology

Institute of Odontology

The Sahlgrenska Academy

University of Gothenburg

Box 450, 405 30 Gothenburg





To evaluate the effect of a single session of motivational interviewing (MI) on self-performed periodontal infection control.

Material and Methods

A randomized, examiner masked, controlled clinical trial of 6-month duration was performed involving 44 patients with chronic periodontitis, referred for periodontal treatment. At baseline, all subjects were examined concerning marginal gingival bleeding (MBI) and plaque (PI). Test subjects received a single MI-session before initiation of the periodontal treatment. Otherwise, all patients followed the same treatment protocol for conventional educational intervention and non-surgical periodontal therapy. Efficacy variables for evaluation of self-performed periodontal infection control were MBI (primary variable) and PI.


The MI intervention resulted in a negligible decrease (3–4%) in MBI and PI that was not significantly different from the changes observed in the control group without any intervention. Neither was any additive effect of the initial MI-session found on the standard of oral hygiene subsequent to conventional treatment. A desirable MBI score of ≤20% at the end of treatment was associated with being a female patient, whereas high plaque scores at baseline counteracted a corresponding desirable final PI of ≤20%.


A single freestanding MI session as a prelude to conventional periodontal treatment had no significant effect on the individuals' standard of self-performed periodontal infection control in a short-term perspective.