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J Public Health Dent. 2002 Spring;62(2):115-21.

Validation of self-reported periodontal measures among health professionals.

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Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 188 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



The objective of this study was to determine the validity of self-reported periodontal measures among nondentist health professionals. Valid self-reported measures could provide a time- and cost-efficient alternative for large epidemiologic studies.


A subsample of 212 male nondentists sampled on the basis of their reported periodontal severity from the Health Professional Follow-up Study (HPFS) provided dental radiographs and completed questionnaires assessing self-reported oral health. Alveolar bone loss was evaluated from the radiographs at 32 posterior sites and used as the standard measure of cumulative periodontal disease.


The self-reported ordinal periodontal measure had a linear relationship with mean radiographic bone loss (r = .61). The positive and negative predictive values of the dichotomized self-reported periodontal measures were 83 percent and 69 percent. Self-reported history of periodontal surgery was also a good surrogate for bone loss (predictive value positive 78 percent and negative 71 percent).


Self-reports can provide discrimination and ranking information of cumulative periodontal disease among health professionals and can be used to provide valid results in etiologic studies in health professionals' populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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