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Prev Chronic Dis. 2008 Apr;5(2):A43. Epub 2008 Mar 15.

A new brief measure of oral quality of life.

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  • 1Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, 200 Springs Road, Building 70 (152), Bedford, MA 01730, USA.



We developed a brief measure of the impact of oral conditions on individual functioning and well-being, known as oral quality of life.


Among older male veterans (N = 827) and community dental patients (N = 113), we administered surveys consisting of extant oral quality of life items, using clinical dental data from the veteran samples. We assigned each oral quality of life item to a theoretical dimension, conducted an iterative series of multitrait scaling analyses to examine the item-fit with the dimensions, reduced the number of items, and examined the psychometric characteristics of new scales and their association with clinical indices.


We developed two brief oral quality of life scales, one consisting of 12 items and the other of 6, the latter a subset of the former. Each demonstrated sound psychometric properties and was sensitive to clinical indices.


The two brief oral quality of life scales can be used to assess the population-based impact of oral conditions as well as outcomes of dental care.

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