: To evaluate the effect of different communication strategies on comprehension and recall of information about factors associated to peri‐implantitis.
Material and methods
: A prospective, randomized controlled trial was conducted in consecutive patients diagnosed with peri‐implantitis. The sample was divided into three groups according to the communication strategy used: Test group1 – Written communication via leaflet with visual aids (L‐VA); Test group2 – Written communication via leaflet with no visual aids (L‐NVA); and control group – only verbal communication with no leaflet (NL). A questionnaire assessing comprehension at baseline (T0) and recall at 3 months (T1) and 6 months (T2) was administered following the fuzzy trace theory with a combination of 11 “gist” and 7 “verbatim” items. The “health belief model” dimensions were further examined to test the influence of the communication strategy upon perceived severity, susceptibility, benefits, barriers, self‐efficacy and behavioral intentions.
: Ninety‐nine patients that fulfilled the eligibility criteria were included. Gist and verbatim comprehension of the control, risk factors and preventive measures for peri‐implantitis overall was significantly greater in the test groups, in particular in L‐VA at T0 (n = 99). Nevertheless, recall was not influenced by the communication strategy at T1 (n = 85) or T2 (n = 78). No significant differences were noted between groups or as a function of time for any of the “health belief model” constructs – with the sole exception of perceived barriers (p = 0.045), which proved lower in the test groups.
: The comprehension of information about factors associated to peri‐implantitis can be efficiently improved by using written communicative strategies, in particular when supplemented with visual aids. Nevertheless, this approach failed to show effectiveness in modulating recall or in changing behavioral intentions over follow‐up (NCT04543604).
Statement on clinical relevance
: Scientific rationale of the study: Peri‐implantitis is a common finding in daily clinical practice, though patients are generally unaware of its risk factors and prevention measures.
: Comprehension of information about peri‐implantitis was improved using written communication strategies, though these proved ineffective over the long term (3 and 6 months).
: Written communication strategies based on psychological models and including visual aids may help patients understand the role of modifiable factors and increase adherence to maintenance programs.