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Motivational Interviewing: A Patient-Centered Approach to Elicit Positive Behavior Change

Course Number: 381

Traditional Patient Education

Patient education in the dental environment is typically clinician-centered and prescriptive in nature. Clinicians provide educational messages and direct advice using a unidirectional form of communication to persuade patients to comply with professional recommendations. This puts the patient in the position of either passively accepting or, alternatively resisting the often unsolicited advice. Factors important to the patient associated with change (autonomy, intrinsic motivation, competence, connecting change with values and norms, perceived control, and readiness for change) are given, at best, secondary consideration. Patients may perceive the advice as judgmental and intrusive, setting up resistance to change.

Classic Approaches to Oral Health Education and Behavior Change
KnowledgeIf I tell them that their oral condition might affect their heart health, they will change.
InsightIf I show them that they have gingival inflammation, they will change.
SkillIf I teach them how, they will change.
ThreatsIf I make them feel bad or afraid, they will change.