Understanding factors influencing compliance with removable functional appliances: A qualitative study



El-Huni A, Colonio Salazar FB, Sharma PK, Fleming PS.


Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2019 Feb;155(2):173-181. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2018.06.011.


INTRODUCTION: Lack of compliance during functional appliance therapy may lead to extended treatment or even induce treatment failure. The aims of this study were to explore factors influencing compliance in adolescents treated with a Twin-block appliance. METHODS: A qualitative study using one-to-one semistructured interviews involving a sample of adolescents undergoing Twin-block therapy with objectively recorded wear durations was undertaken. A topic guide was used to standardize data collection. Participants’ views were tape recorded and field notes taken. Data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed with the use of framework methodology. RESULTS: A total of 22 participants were interviewed. Factors influencing compliance with removable functional appliance included: self-motivation, peer and authority influence, quality of life impairment and adaptability, perceived treatment progress, and pragmatic and recall issues. These factors were found to exert important roles as enablers, barriers, or both. Patient recommendations to improve compliance included effective communication, tailoring of prescribed wear duration, physical alteration of the appliance, and use of reminding tools. CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights the multifaceted perceptions of removable functional appliance wear, with compliance fluctuating over time and a range of factors influencing this. The potential for professional and parental influence as well as customized reminders to enhance compliance were also reported. CI – Copyright © 2018 American Association of Orthodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2018.06.011