Assessing the impact of oral health on the life quality of children: Implications for research and practice

Colman McGrath, Hillary Broder, Maureen Wilson-Genderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Traditionally, child oral health has been assessed using clinical parameters of disease and deformity. However, there is a growing interest in the psychosocial impact of oral health among children. This commentary outlines the value and need for assessing child oral health-related quality of life (COHQoL). COHQoL has implications for oral health needs assessment (at an individual and population level) and for evaluating outcomes from specific treatments, initiatives and dental services overall. In addition, it could prove to be a useful adjunct tool for evidence-based dentistry research and practice. Theoretical and practical considerations in assessing the complex psychosocial construct of oral health among children are discussed: the use of general versus oral health-specific measures, the development of tools for children, the use of generic versus condition-specific measures, and the measurement of 'positive' oral health. Recommendations for research and practice are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Child oral health assessment
  • Measurement theory
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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