Adolescent and parent perceptions of expected benefits of orthodontic treatment: a mixed-methods study

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Smyth, Joshua Peter Richard
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University College Cork
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Aims: 1: To investigate expected benefits of orthodontic treatment from both an adolescent and parent perspective. 2: To rank the expected benefits of orthodontic treatment identified by adolescents and parents in order of perceived importance. Materials and Methods: Ethical approval was granted to carry out both parts of this study. Part 1 used qualitative methodology with one-to-one semi-structured interviews by a trained interviewer. Twenty adolescents (10 males; 10 females) referred for orthodontic assessment and their parents (8 males; 12 females) were interviewed independently to explore expectations of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and interpretive phenomenological analysis carried out. Part 2 quantitatively assessed the benefits identified in Part 1. Twelve additional adolescents (6 males; 6 females) who were referred for orthodontic assessment and a parent (6 males; 6 females), completed a card ranking exercise to determine the rank order of the perceived importance of each benefit. The mean rank was then calculated and a two-sample t-test, with the level of significance set at P < 0.05, used to determine if a difference existed between adolescents and parents for the mean rank of any of the expected benefits. Results: The expected benefits of orthodontic treatment from both adolescent and parent perspectives included 11 benefits which could be grouped into four categories: oral health (improved appearance of teeth; ease of maintaining good oral health; improved jaw alignment; aiding dental development), psychosocial (improved self-confidence; improved perception of dental appearance by others), functional (improved ability to chew food; improved speech) and behavioural change (improved oral hygiene habits; improved diet; cessation of bad habits). Adolescents and parents placed a similar level of importance on these benefits with “improved self-confidence” ranked highest and “improved speech” ranked lowest. The only benefit where the mean rank differed significantly between adolescents and parents was “improved ability to chew food” (two-sample t-test; P = 0.042) which was ranked higher by adolescents. Conclusions: Adolescents and parents perceived 11 expected benefits from orthodontic treatment affecting oral health, psycho-social, functional and behavioural categories. Adolescents and parents ranked the expected benefits similarly with psycho-social ranked highest. Within functional benefits, speech improvement was ranked lowest by both but improved masticatory function was ranked of significantly greater importance by adolescents.
Qualitative research , Orthodontic treatment benefits , Mixed-methods research
Smyth, J. P. R. 2021. Adolescent and parent perceptions of expected benefits of orthodontic treatment: a mixed-methods study. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.