Communication strategies to encourage child participation in an oral health promotion session: an exemplar video observational study

Siyang Yuan, Gerald Michael Humphris, Lorna M. D. Macpherson, Alastair Ross, Ruth Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The oral health promotion sessions for young children and parents in a clinical setting pose challenges to the dental team.
Aim: To apply PaeD‐TrICS (Paediatric dental triadic interaction coding scheme) to investigate the interaction of child, parent and dental nurse and determine the effect of nurse and parental behaviours on child participation within an oral health promotion session.
Method: A video observational study was applied. The sample consisted of a dental nurse and 22 children aged 2‐5 years in a general dental practice in Scotland. Behaviours were catalogued with time stamps using PaeD‐TrICS. Analysis of behavioural sequences with child participation as the dependent variable was conducted using multilevel modelling.
Results: Children varied significantly in their participation rate. The statistical model explained 28% of the variance. The older the child and longer consultations significantly increased child participation. Both nurse and parental behaviour had immediate influence on child participation. Parental facilitation had a strong moderating effect on the influence of the nurse on child participation.
Conclusions: Child participation was dependent on nurse and parent encouragement signalling an important triadic communication process. The coding scheme and analysis illustrates an important tool to investigate these advisory sessions designed for delivering tailored messages to young children and parents.
Patient or Public Contribution: The dental staff, child patients and their parents were involved closely in the conduct and procedures of the present study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-708
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number2
Early online date19 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Child participation
  • Triadic communication
  • Communication behaviour
  • Oral health promotion
  • Video observation


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