Measures of oral health quality of life

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Measures of oral health quality of life

The purpose of this paper is to assess the ability of the Oral Health Quality of Life Index in a pilot study in order to use it as a social instrument for population studies. Method: The authors used the OHQoL Index version UK which is a 16-item instrument evaluating three different dimensions (physical, social and psychological) to assess the impact of oral health problems on social activities: 1. Eating; 2. Appearance; 3. Speaking; 4. General health; 5. Comfort; 6. Breath; 7. Social life; 8. Romantic life; 9. Smiling; 10. Working; 11. Financial status; 12. Confidence; 13. Lack of trouble; 14. Sleeping and relaxing; 15. Mood; 16. Personality. The possible answers are: no, little, moderate, great, extremely; the last two of them evaluate the negative impact. The group of study included 75 subjects of different ages and educational levels. DMFT index and number of missing teeth are also used to evaluate oral status. Results and discussions: The responses suggested that the most negative impact was on the ability to eat (36% of the subjects, who missed more than 15 teeth or had dentures). The second negative impact was on the appearance and affected 33% of the subjects, who had frontal carious lesions. 25% of the persons had their speaking affected, especially the ones with dentures. The lowest effects were on psychological aspects: personality – 16%, mood – 14%, confidence – 15%, sleeping and relaxing – 16%. Conclusions: the OHQoL-UK is a precious instrument, practical and easy to use, based on a theoretical model. Our results are similar to those of other scientists; the questions were clearly and concisely formulated and easy to understand. That is why we consider that this index can be used for population studies. We need to use the information obtained from these measures to educate the public, policy makers of the importance, extent and severity of oral health problems.

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