Background: Whether patients complete periodontal treatment is an important matter of concern. Self-efficacy is the confidence of an individual that determines "how well he/she can take the actions necessary for producing certain results" and is a variable that forecasts behavior. This study examined whether oral health care-specific self-efficacy can predict patient completion of periodontal treatment. Methods: A total of 140 subjects with mild to moderate chronic periodontitis (64 females and 76 males; 19 to 86 years of age; mean age: 51.7 ± 15.7 years) participated in this study. Their self-efficacy was assessed using the self-efficacy scale for self-care (SESS) and the general self-efficacy scale (GSES) scores at the initial visit. SESS consists of three subscales: self-efficacy for dentist consultations, brushing of the teeth, and dietary habits. The subjects were classified into three groups: group 1 = 87 subjects who stayed in periodontal treatment and fulfilled maintenance criteria; group 2=17 subjects who stayed in periodontal treatment but did not fulfill criteria; and group 3 = 36 subjects who dropped out of periodontal treatment. Clinical and demographic characteristics and scores of GSES, SESS, and their subscales were compared among the three groups using the χ2 and non-parametric multiple comparison tests. Results: The mean age of the subjects in groups 1 and 2 was significantly greater than the mean age of the subjects in group 3. Groups 1 and 2 exhibited significantly deeper probing depths and higher scores for SESS and its subscale, self-efficacy for dentist consultations, than did group 3. Conclusion: Assessment of oral health care-specific self-efficacy is effective for the prediction of patient completion of periodontal treatment.
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