Overview of Instruments Used to Assess Quality of Life in Dentistry

  • C. McGrath
  • S. N. Rogers
Reference work entry


In recent times there has been an explosion of interest in assessing the impact of  oral health status on quality of life (QOL) and in assessing the impact of oral health care services and initiatives to QOL within dentistry. This has following developments within other fields of medicine as well as the understanding that oral health is not equated with the absence of oral disease. Clinical oral health status measures have provided little insight into the physical, social and psychological consequences of oral health are of little use in assessing the impact of oral health on QOL. Attempts have been made to use generic health-related quality of life (HQOL) measures which have been used in other fields within medicine to compare the impact on different oral health states on QOL. However, for the most part generic HQOL have not been useful in assessing subtle difference in oral health states or changes to oral health following oral health care interventions except in relation to more severe oral diseases, such as oral cancer. This has led to the development of what are termed generic oral health related quality of life (OHQOL) measures to assess the impact of the range of oral diseases and conditions to QOL. A plethora of OHQOL measures exist and they have generally been more useful in describing the impact of different oral health states to QOL. In assessing the impact of specific oral health states condition specific HQOL have been developed and these have proved useful in describing the impact of specific condition and treatment initiatives on QOL. In many situations the preference of condition specific measure relative to generic HQOL and OHQOL has not been established. More recently advances have been in assessing the impact of oral health on QOL of children which has proved challenging. For the most part attention has focused on developing generic child OHQOL measures. Despite the availability of QOL measure within dentistry there has been little use in clinical practice and limited determination of the effects of different oral health care intervention to QOL. Use and future directions of research of QOL measures within dentistry are provided.


Oral Health Oral Health Status Burning Mouth Syndrome Oral Impact Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale 
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List of Abbreviations:


child health questionnaire


child oral impact on daily performance measure


child oral health impact profile


child perception questionnaire


dental impact on daily living


dental impact profile


early childhood oral health impact scale


European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer head and neck questionnaire


European quality of life measure


family impact scale


geriatric oral health assessment index


health-related quality of life


Liverpool oral rehabilitation questionnaire


Liverpool sicca index


Michigan child oral health-related quality of life scale


Manchester orofacial pain disability


oral health impact profile


oral health-related quality of life


United Kingdom oral health-related quality of life measure


oral impacts on daily performances


orthognathic quality of life questionnaire


paediatric quality of life inventory


parental perception questionnaire


quality of life


(health survey) short form 12


(health survey) short form 36


social impacts of dental diseases


sickness impact profile


subjective oral health status indicator


University of Washington quality of life questionnaire


xerostomia- related quality of life questionnaire


xerostomia inventory


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. McGrath
    • 1
  • S. N. Rogers
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Prosthetic DentistryThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Faculty of HealthEdge Hill University, University Hospital AintreeLiverpoolUnited Kingdom

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