Document Type : Review Article


1 Dental Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

2 Student Research Committee, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

3 Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine, Dental Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.


Statement of the Problem: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a serious public health concern in the world. Motivational interviewing (MI) has been used to prevent ECC as a scientifically tested method for advising patients.
Purpose: The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of MI on prevention of ECC and identify factors shaping outcomes.
Materials and Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted using MI as the intervention and the decay-missing-filled index (dmfs) report as result. Databases including Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO and Cochrane Library were systematically searched to recognize relevant RCTs evaluating the effects of MI on prevention of ECC from the beginning of 1989 to April 2020. Mean difference and 95% confidence intervals were summarized using a fixed-effect model. Visual inspection of Egger's test was used for potential publication bias in this study.
Results: Six studies comprising 2776 contributors showed that MI had a significant effect on preventing ECC. There was no significant publication bias in the meta-analysis. A sensitivity analysis demonstrated that deleting any of the studies could not affect the significance of pooled results. This meta-analysis showed that MI might prevent ECC.
Conclusion: MI will be effective at any age, whether it is a baby or a child, and more than the number of interview sessions, the quality of the sessions should be considered. Moreover, follow-up for at least 3 years will be very effective.


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