Journal Article

A comparison of information retention at an initial orthodontic consultation

A. M. Thomson, S. J. Cunningham and N. P. Hunt

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 23, issue 2, pages 169-178
Published in print April 2001 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online April 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
A comparison of information retention at an initial orthodontic consultation

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  • Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics


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The exchange of information is an everyday part of orthodontic treatment. However, the amount of information that is understood and retained, by patients and their parents, is not known. There has been very little research in the area of information retention in dentistry. This has implications with the demands for improved provision of information for patients.

This questionnaire‐based study, compared the effectiveness of written, verbal, and visual methods of providing orthodontic information. It assessed the retention of this information, by patients and parents, in both the short‐ and long‐term. Twenty‐eight patients and their parents, were allocated alternately into one of three groups, receiving written, verbal, or visual information. Short‐term retention of knowledge was assessed 10–15 minutes after receiving the information and long‐term retention rated by a second questionnaire mailed 8 weeks later.

Overall, little difference was found between the three methods. The findings suggested that verbal information should not be given to patients unless supplemented by written and/or visual information, and that parents were more attentive to verbal instructions than their children.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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