To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Toothbrushing at school: Effects on toothbrushing behaviour, cognitions and habit strength

Marianne Wind (Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Stef Kremers (Department of Health Education, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Carel Thijs (Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Johannes Brug (Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 February 2005

Downloads
1310

Abstract

Purpose

To assess the impact of a school‐based toothbrushing intervention aimed at encouraging primary school children to brush their teeth daily at school, on cognitions, toothbrushing behaviour and habit strength.

Design/methodology/approach

The effects of an intervention were examined in a quasi‐experimental trial among 296 fifth‐graders in seven schools. The schools were randomly assigned to be an intervention group or a control group. Children in the intervention schools brushed their teeth at school under supervision. Effects on toothbrushing behaviour were assessed with written questionnaires before, during, immediately after, and one year after the intervention period. Effects on cognitions and habit strength were assessed one year after the intervention period. Analyses of variance were conducted to detect differences in frequency of toothbrushing, cognitions about toothbrushing, and habit strength.

Findings

During the intervention period, brushing teeth at school resulted in a significant increase in frequency of toothbrushing. However, these effects had not been maintained at one‐year follow‐up. No effects on cognitions about toothbrushing or on habit strength were found.

Research limitations/implications

When supports that facilitate healthy behaviour are implemented we recommend evaluating effects on habit strength, by assessment both before and after the intervention.

Originality/value

This paper suggests that when habit‐inducing supports and cues cease then people find it hard to sustain change. This may be of importance when designing and evaluating health‐promoting interventions.

Keywords

Citation

Wind, M., Kremers, S., Thijs, C. and Brug, J. (2005), "Toothbrushing at school: Effects on toothbrushing behaviour, cognitions and habit strength", Health Education, Vol. 105 No. 1, pp. 53-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280510572303

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited