Quality of life in adult orthodontic patients
Neely, Martha Lucia
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OBJECTIVE: To examine Teen Oral Health-related Quality of Life (TOQL) for use in adults receiving orthodontic treatment and assess validity and reliability by age-group. METHODS: Teenagers ages 10-18 years and adults 18 years and over completed surveys at the Orthodontic Clinic at Boston University. The survey consisted of sociodemographic information, dental behavior questions, and the TOQL instrument. (Wright, Spiro, Jones, & Rich, n.d.) Malocclusion severity was assessed using the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). RESULTS: 161 teens and 146 adults participated; teens had a mean age of 13 years and adults 32 years. Subjects represented both genders and diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. In general, scores overall and by domains were higher for adults than for teens, signifying a greater effect on the quality of life. Mean TOQL scores were worse (17.55) in adults than in teens (11.92, p<0.01); emotional and social domains scores were higher for adults (p<0.001).Construct validity was supported by strong association of TOQL scores with self-reported oral health (p<0.0001). Cronbach’s alpha was higher in adults (0.75 in adults compared to 0.68 in teens) and for all the domains. CONCLUSION: Adults who come for orthodontic treatment report that they are more affected by their malocclusion as compared to teens. Total TOQL score and the emotional and social domains are significantly higher for adults than teens. The project suggests that TOQL is a valid and reliable way to measure impact of malocclusion in quality of life in both adults and teens.