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Vol. 73, No. 2
ISSN: 1488-2159
March 2007


Oral Health Related Quality of Life and its Association with Sociodemographic and Clinical Findings in 3 Northern Outreach Clinics


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• Michael H. Walter, DrMedDent •
• John I. Woronuk, DMD, MSc •
• Han-Kuang Tan, DDS, MSc •
• Ulrike Lenz, DrMedDent •
• Rainer Koch, DrRerNat •
• Klaus W. Boening, DrMedDent •
• Yvonne J. Pinchbeck, BSc •

A b s t r a c t

Objective: Aspects of oral health related quality of life (OHQOL) are attracting increased attention in dentistry. Knowledge in this field is limited, especially in terms of significant indicators and predictors of impaired OHQOL. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the influence of various sociodemographic and clinical variables on OHQOL in the setting of outreach clinics in northern Alberta, Canada.

Methods: OHQOL was measured with the 49-item Oral Health Impact Profile questionnaire (OHIP-49), administered to adult patients attending 3 dental outreach clinics managed by the University of Alberta. Sociodemographic and clinical data were also collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive and multivariable methods.

Results: The OHIP-49 scores were comparatively low for a patient sample. After multivariable stepwise logistic regression analysis, only gender, missing anterior teeth and need for endodontic treatment remained as significant variables in the final model for impaired OHQOL. Missing anterior teeth (regardless of replacement) had the strongest effect. Subjects with this feature had an approximately 21-fold greater risk of impaired OHQOL relative to those who retained all of their anterior teeth.

Conclusions: The clientele of these outreach clinics was generally young but had high treatment needs. OHQOL results can be useful in considering treatment strategies in similar rural environments, but the complexity of this indicator necessitates an individual patient-centred approach in clinical decision-making.


MeSH Key Words: Alberta; oral health; rural health services; socioeconomic factors
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