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Pilot and Feasibility Studies

, 4:20

First Online: 17 July 2017Received: 10 August 2016Accepted: 05 July 2017


BackgroundImplementation intentions enable individuals to translate good intentions into action. Parents and children can find maintaining oral health difficult, as evidenced by the presence of tooth decay. This is a common condition in children in spite of being preventable through the use of regular tooth brushing, fluoride protection and avoiding sugar intake. Even when parents and children are positive about looking after the teeth, they can face challenges in maintaining consistent habits. The aim of this paper is to describe the design of a video animation to teach parents and children how to use implementation intentions to establish new habits to improve oral health, applied in this case, to parents and children with cleft lip and-or palate CLP.

MethodsEvidence from a qualitative study of parents’ and children’s knowledge, beliefs and behaviour informed the design of an animation forming part of an intervention for children and parents using implementation intentions. The user views generated a set of guiding principles to determine the style and content of a teaching video, whilst an animation designer translated the key messages of implementation intention into images and characters appealing and meaningful to the target audience of children and parents.

ResultsA team of researchers, an animation designer and a script writer designed a 2-min video as a teaching tool for children and parents. The team drafted and iteratively refined the content and visuals, with guidance from an advisory group and informal discussions with children in the target age group and their parents. Planning, consulting, designing and production of the animation spanned a total of 20 weeks. The video explains how to formulate ‘if-then’ plans using the voices of a boy and his mother in a conversation, with examples from oral health to illustrate how to enact intentions. It is available via digital media and designed to be delivered by dental care practitioners. The effectiveness of the intervention will be evaluated as part of a feasibility study.

ConclusionThe current study describes the development of an intervention mediated through an animation tutorial that enables children and parents to devise ‘if-then’ plans to improve oral health as a collaborative endeavour between parents and children. The animation uses examples from oral health, but we believe there is scope for exploring application of the intervention to other areas of behaviour.

KeywordsImplementation intentions Children’s oral health Animation tutorial Cleft palate AbbreviationsACORNImproving oral health in cleft lip and-or palate: a health promotion intervention for children and parents

CLPCleft lip and-or palate

DCPDental care practitioners

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Autor: Karen Davies - Christopher J. Armitage - Yin-Ling Lin - James Munro - Tanya Walsh - Peter Callery


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