This systematic and meta-analytic review aimed to quantify the association of psychosocial correlates with oral hygiene behaviour among 9- to 19-year olds.
A systematic search up to August 2015 was carried out using the following databases: PubMed, PsycInfo, Embase, CINAHL and Web of Science. If necessary, authors of studies were contacted to obtain unpublished statistical information. A study was eligible for inclusion when it evaluated the association between the psychosocial correlates and oral hygiene behaviour varying from self-reports to clinical measurements, including plaque and bleeding scores. A modified New Castle Ottawa Scale was applied to examine the quality of the included studies.
Twenty-seven data sets (k) presented in 22 publications, addressing nine psychosocial correlates, were found to be eligible for the meta-analysis. For both tooth brushing and oral hygiene behaviour, random effect models revealed significant weighted average correlation (r+ ) for the psychosocial factors: 'intention', 'self-efficacy', 'attitude' (not significant for tooth brushing), 'social influence', 'coping planning' and 'action planning' (r+ ranging from 0.18 to 0.57). Little or no associations were found for 'locus of control', 'self-esteem' and 'sense of coherence' (r+ ranges from 0.01 to 0.08).
The data at present indicates that 'self-efficacy', 'intention', 'social influences', 'coping planning' and 'action planning' are potential psychosocial determinants of oral health behaviour. Future studies should consider a range of psychological factors that have not been studied, but have shown to be important psychosocial determinants of health behaviours, such as 'self-determination', 'anticipated regret', 'action control' and 'self-identity'. Effectiveness of addressing these potential determinants to induce behaviour change should be further examined by intervention trials.