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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003 Jun;32(3):334-6.

Patient-centred outcome measures for oral mucosal disease are sensitive to treatment.

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  • 1Periodontology & Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, University of Hong Kong, 34 Hospital Road, Hong Kong SAR, China.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of two patient-centred outcome measures to the topical application of a corticosteroid (betamethasone) in the treatment of oral lichen planus (OLP). Forty-eight patients with clinical and histological features of OLP were recruited to take part in a 6-week study of the effectiveness of topical betamethasone for the treatment of symptomatic OLP. Participants completed a questionnaire incorporating the 16-item UK Oral Health Related Quality Of Life measure (OHQOL) and the 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14), rated their pain on 'global' and visual analogue scales (VAS) and underwent an oral examination, at the start and end of the trial. Four (8\%) patients failed to complete the study. The clinical signs of OLP had improved for half (22) of the patients following treatment. Twenty-nine (66%) reported that their oral pain had reduced ('global' scale). More objectively, there were significant differences in VAS ratings of pain (P =0.005), OHIP-14 scores (P =0.036) and OHQOL scores (P =0.003) between the start and end of the trial. In conclusion, both OHQOL and OHIP-14, patient-centred outcome measures are sensitive to the clinical effects of topical betamethasone in the treatment of oral lichen planus.

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