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Cancer. 1992 May 15;69(10):2469-77.

Clinical assessment scale for the rating of oral mucosal changes associated with bone marrow transplantation. Development of an oral mucositis index.

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  • 1Department of Oral Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.


Oral complications can be serious and disabling problems for patients undergoing cancer therapy. Therefore, the authors wanted to develop a sensitive and specific instrument to measure oral mucosal changes during therapy. The Oral Mucosa Rating Scale (OMRS) has an examination rating scale to quantify the type and severity of clinically evident oral mucosal changes (atrophy, erythema, ulceration, and pseudomembranous, hyperkeratotic, lichenoid, and edematous changes), with a scale ranging from 0 to 3 (normal to severe). Separate visual analogue scales are obtained for oral pain and dryness. One hundred eighty-eight bone marrow transplant recipients were studied from before transplant through day 42 after transplant. The OMRS then was used to develop a specific index for assessing acute oral mucositis after bone marrow transplant--the Oral Mucositis Index (OMI). The OMI internal consistency measures (Chronbach alpha and Guttman split-half coefficients) were strong (range, 0.84 to 0.93). Support for the validity of the OMI is presented. These scales should help improve the study of oral complications of cancer therapy.

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