Factors influencing pediatric oral health-related quality of life: a preliminary analysis of the Boston POQL Project
Lee, Yoon Jae
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Objective: This study will examine whether there are variations in children's pediatric oral health-related quality of life (POQL) based on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and disability. Design: This study is a preliminary analysis of a survey and clinical data of 27 pediatric patients and their parents from 'Caries Severity and QOL in Underserved Populations' project. We surveyed and collected data from parents and children ages 3-14 between April 2011 and March 2012 from the dental clinic at Franciscan Hospital for Children. Results: The mean age of the patients participated in this study were 4.77. The highest PSR and PRC scores were "PSR: Distress Score" (25.85) and "PRC: Physical Score" (24.91 ). Parent's POQL score was 18.87 and child 's POQL score was 17.51. Out of 27 patients, 25 (92.59%) had at least one oral disease and 2 (7.41) were disease free. Nearly 42% parents said their children's oral health got worse during the past year but their overall health was reported to be in a good shape. More than three quarters of the patients had Medicaid/MassHealth for dental insurance. Twenty parents said they have never smoked or quit smoking (76.92%) while 6 parents reported they were currently smoking (23.08%). Approximately 46% of the patients were "White/Caucasian" and 27% was "Hispanic" origin. Discussion: The data indicate that there is a correlation between socioeconomical status and a relatively high number of decayed teeth. It also indicates that the child's oral health not only affects the child 's own POHQL but also influences the parent's QOL. Future analyses of the data will determine whether these observations are true with a larger sample size.
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