Use of the Theory of Planned Behavior and Implementation Intentions in Dentistry: Evidence of Literature

Denise Cristina Aceituno Braulio Simpriano, Thaís Moreira São-João, Fábio Luiz Mialhe

Abstract


Objective: To identify and discuss the evidence on the use of two psychological theories in preventive oral health behaviors: the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the theory of Implementation Intentions (II). Material and Methods: We conducted a literature review from the keywords ‘theory of planned behavior’, ‘oral health’ and ‘implementation intentions’ and their equivalents in Portuguese, referring to the databases Bireme (BVS), PubMed (Medline version) and Scielo, from January 1991 to July 2015. After the selection of studies, they were divided into three groups according to their use in the field of oral health: a) use of TPB, b) use of II and c) those which used an association of both theories. Results: We recovered 159 articles on the topic. After analysis, 25 articles met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 21 used the TPB in oral health, three the theory of Intent Implementation in oral health and one used the two together (TPB and II) in oral health. We found that the TPB and II showed promising results both in terms of prediction of preventive behaviors and in the promotion of changes in preventive oral health behaviors. Conclusion: The evidence raised in this study showed that the TPB and II are theories that can help researchers / health professionals to predict and to change preventive oral health behaviors. However, additional research is needed to test their effectiveness in other oral health behaviors, age groups and longer follow-up times.


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References


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