Exploring motivations to seek and undergo prosthodontic care: an empirical approach using the Theory of Planned Behavior construct
Antonio Hélio Vieira, Cláudio Rodrigues Leles
Department of Prevention and Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Goias, Goiania, Goias, Brazil
Abstract: Motivations for seeking and undergoing prosthodontic care are poorly understood and are not often explored for clinical purposes when determining treatment need and understanding the factors related to the demand for health care and effective use. This article uses the Theory of Planned Behavior construct to identify factors related to the motivations of edentulous subjects to seek and undergo prosthodontic treatment. The conceptual framework of the Theory of Planned Behavior includes attitude toward behavior, an individual’s positive or negative evaluation of self-performance of the particular behavior; the subjective norm, an individual’s perception of social normative pressures or relevant others’ beliefs that he or she should or should not perform such behavior; and perceived behavioral control, or an individual’s perceived ease or difficulty in performing the particular behavior, determined by the total set of accessible control beliefs. These components mediate a subject’s intention and behavior toward an object and may also explain health-related behaviors, providing strong predictions across a range of health behaviors. This study suggests categories for each component of the Theory of Planned Behavior, based on clinical evidence and practical reasoning. Attitudes toward behavior include perceived consequences of no treatment, perceived potential benefits and risks of treatment, dental anxiety, previous experiences, and interpersonal abilities of the health care providers. The subjective norm includes the opinions of relevant others, advertisement, professionally defined normative need, perceived professional skills, and technical quality of care. Perceived behavioral control includes subject’s time, availability and opportunity, treatment costs, subject’s perceived need, and accessibility to dental care. This conceptual model represents a theoretical multidimensional model that may help clinicians better understand the patient’s treatment behaviors and provide additional information for clinical research on patient’s adherence to interventions in prosthodontics.
Keywords: edentulous patient, prosthodontics, health services needs and demand, behavior
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