Diabetics are at high-risk for various oral health problems, including gum disease, caries, and dry mouth, so it is extremely important that individuals with diabetes maintain their oral health. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen were interested in comparing the oral health outcomes of educating patients using “traditional” materials, such as brochures, compared to a more interactive “health coaching” model.
186 individuals participated in this study. Half of the participants were given traditional health information and the other half was offered motivational health coaching. The coaching took place over a six month period, in 3-6 sessions.
Individuals in the health coaching group experienced a 50% decrease in biological markers for gum disease, and a decline in long-range blood sugar levels. The group given traditional education materials saw no change.