Validation of the National Institutes of Health chronic GVHD Oral Mucosal Score using component-specific measures
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Oral chronic GVHD (cGVHD) is a common, late complication of alloSCT that is associated with significant patient morbidity. The NIH Oral Mucosal Score (NIH OMS) was developed to assess oral cGVHD therapeutic response, but has not been fully validated. This study's purpose was to conduct a rigorous construct validity and internal consistency analysis of this score and its components (erythema, lichenoid, ulcers, mucoceles) using established measures of oral pain, oral function, oral-related quality-of-life, nutrition and laboratory parameters in 198 patients with cGVHD. The construct validity of the NIH OMS was supported: a moderate correlation was observed between NIH OMS and mouth pain (rho=0.43), while a weaker correlation was observed with low albumin (rho=-0.26). Total NIH OMS, erythema and lichenoid components were associated with malnutrition, oral pain and impaired oral QOL, while ulcers were only associated with oral pain. No associations were found between mucoceles and any indicator evaluated, including salivary function or xerostomia. Kappa determined between scale components was low overall (all 0.35), supporting a conclusion that each component measures a distinct manifestation of oral cGVHD. This study supports the use of the NIH OMS and its components (erythema, lichenoid and ulcerations) to measure clinician-reported severity of oral cGVHD.
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