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J Public Health Dent. 2015 Fall;75(4):298-307. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12099. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

Oral health related quality of life: a novel metric targeted to young adults.

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School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.



The primary objective of the study was to develop an oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) questionnaire for use among adults paralleling previously validated instruments, but addressing important age-specific self-perception issues in addition to physical and social impediments caused as a result of deficient oral health.


An initial item pool was generated based on adherence to the three established constructs of OHRQoL: social, psychological, and physical. Experts in the field of oral health provided feedback on this initial item pool. The revised items were administered to 553 adult participants via an online questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the final scale and subscales, and Cronbach's alpha coefficients and correlations coefficients were generated to determine the reliability and validity of the scale.


The reduced-item questionnaire exhibited excellent psychometric properties (α = 0.902). Final subscales were assessed through factor loading scores and showed high reliability: a) social functioning (α = 0.852), b) physical functioning (α = 0.793), and c) self-perception and anxiety (α = 0.875). Scores on the self-perception and anxiety were the highest of the three subscales, followed by physical and social functioning. Of the exploratory items, tooth color appeared to be the most important concern.


Our OHRqOL measurement instrument tailored to young adults demonstrates initial psychometric properties of reliability and validity among a social-network derived volunteer population.


measurement; oral; oral health; quality of life; questionnaire; young adults

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