Oral Health-Related Quality of Life and Caries Experience of Hong Kong Preschool Children

Duangporn Duangthip, Kitty Jieyi Chen, Sherry Shiqian Gao, Edward Chin Man Lo, Chun Hung Chu
Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Background: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) and caries experience among preschool children in Hong Kong.

Methods: Parents/primary caretakers of the children attending six selected kindergartens in Hong Kong were invited to complete an oral health questionnaire and have their child undergo an oral examination. Decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft) index was used for recording the oral health status of the children. The questionnaire included the Chinese Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS), parent and children’s sociodemographic backgrounds. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between the children’s OHRQoL and caries experience.

Results: Among the 434 preschool children invited, 338 (78%) received dental examination and returned a completed parental questionnaire. Their mean (SD) age was 4.6(0.3) years. Among them, 124 children (37%) had caries experience (dmft>0). Their mean (SD) dmft score was 1.7(3.2). The overall reported impact on OHRQoL was 70% (ECOHIS score>0). Their mean (SD) ECOHIS score was 5.8(6.2). In the final logistic regression model, children with higher caries experience had a significantly higher chance to have poorer OHRQoL (OR=1.20, 95% CI: 1.07-1.35, p=0.002), whereas children’s gender, parent’s education levels and the respondent’s relationship to the child were not associated with OHRQoL (p>0.05).

Conclusion: The OHRQoL of the Hong Kong preschool children was adversely affected by their caries experience.

Duangporn Duangthip