Assessing oral health-related quality of life in children and adolescents: a systematic review and standardized comparison of available instruments Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: To obtain a systematic and standardized evaluation of the current evidence on development process, metric properties, and administration issues of oral health-related quality of life instruments available for children and adolescents. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic search until October 2016 was conducted in PubMed, Embase, Lilacs, SciELO, and Cochrane databases. Articles with information regarding the development process, metric properties, and administration issues of pediatric instruments measuring oral health-related quality of life were eligible for inclusion. Two researchers independently evaluated each instrument applying the Evaluating Measures of Patient-Reported Outcomes (EMPRO) tool. An overall and seven attribute-specific EMPRO scores were calculated (range 0-100, worst to best): measurement model, reliability, validity, responsiveness, interpretability, burden, and alternative forms. RESULTS: We identified 18 instruments evaluated in 132 articles. From five instruments designed for preschoolers, the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) obtained the highest overall EMPRO score (82.2). Of nine identified for schoolchildren and adolescents, the best rated instrument was the Child Perceptions Questionnaire 11-14 (82.1). Among the four instruments developed for any age, the Family Impact Scale (FIS) obtained the highest scores (80.3). CONCLUSION: The evidence supports the use of the ECOHIS for preschoolers, while the age is a key factor when choosing among the four recommended instruments for schoolchildren and adolescents. Instruments for specific conditions, symptoms, or treatments need further research on metric properties. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Our results facilitate decision-making on the correct oral health-related quality of life instrument selection for any certain study purpose and population during the childhood and adolescence life cycle.


  • Zaror, Carlos
  • Pardo, Yolanda
  • Espinoza-Espinoza, Gerardo
  • Pont, Àngels
  • Muñoz-Millán, Patricia
  • Martínez-Zapata, María José
  • Vilagut, Gemma
  • Forero, Carlos
  • Garin, Olatz
  • Alonso, Jordi
  • Ferrer, Montse

publication date

  • January 2019