Impact of Brief Motivational Interviewing on Periodontal Clinical Outcomes: A randomized clinical trial

Michelle C. Arnett, Christine M. Blue, Lisa Ahmann, Michael D. Evans, Yvette G. Reibel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patient education and oral hygiene instruction (OHI) communication play a key role in the dental hygiene process of care. The purpose of this study was to determine whether brief motivational interviewing (BMI) was superior to traditional OHI in improving periodontal health. Chairside time needed to deliver traditional OHI as compared to BMI was also compared.Methods: A convenience sample of 60 participants were randomized into two groups. The control group received traditional OHI and the test group received BMI. Periodontal indicators of disease were collected by a blinded examiner. Interventions for both groups and data collection occurred at four time points over a 12-month period. Periodontal outcome measures were plaque score, bleeding on probing (BOP), and gingival index (GI).Results: Both groups showed significant reductions in plaque score, BOP, and GI over time. The control group had an improvement in plaque score compared to the test group at visit three (p=0.05) and at visit four (p=0.03). The test group had an improvement in GI score compared to the control group at visit four (p=0.03). Chairside time was shorter in the control (OHI) group at each time point (p<0.01).Conclusion: Both traditional OHI and BMI patient education communication methods improved periodontal outcomes measured by plaque score, BOP, and GI. The inclusion of BMI in patient education sessions was demonstrated to be feasible within the time constraints of the dental hygiene recare appointment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

Bibliographical note

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Copyright © 2022 The American Dental Hygienists’ Association.


  • brief motivational interviewing
  • motivational interviewing
  • oral hygiene instruction
  • patient education


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