Purpose: This study aimed to assess the relationship between the behavioral, normative, and control beliefs of dental hygienists (DHs) and their behavioral intention to provide anticipatory guidance (AG) to expecting parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey design used convenience sampling strategies to recruit DHs (n=335) who provided oral health care to expecting parents and caregivers of children 0-5 years old. A survey was developed based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and validated. Descriptive, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationships among variables. Results: The survey completion rate was 72% (n=241). Strong relationships (p=.001) were shown between DHs’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs and their intention to discuss AG with expecting parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers. The TPB model suggests normative (p<.05) and control (p=.001) beliefs were strong predictors of intention. Control beliefs (p=.001) were the strongest predictor of intention for all TPB subscales. The results also indicated that DHs with bachelor’s degrees or higher demonstrated more positive normative (Md=73.00, p<.001) and control beliefs (Md=94.00) than DHs with associate degrees. Conclusions: Although DHs are aware of AG for infants and toddlers, results demonstrated the TPB model might predict DHs’ intentions to provide AG based on normative and control beliefs. This information may serve as a baseline for future research exploring DHs’ anticipatory guidance behaviors toward caregivers of infants and toddlers.
Calhoun ME, Smilyanski I, Boyd LD, Vineyard J. Dental Hygienists’ Intentions to Provide Anticipatory Guidance Recommendations: Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Jun 29;21(3), Article 10.