Title: 0035 - Pediatric Oral Health-Related Quality-of-Life: Associations With Caries and Caregiver Factors


Benjamin Chaffee (Presenter)
University of California San Francisco

Francisco Ramos-Gomez, University of California - Los Angeles
Stuart Gansky, University of California - San Francisco


Objectives: Reduced quality of life (QoL) is an early childhood caries consequence and potentially motivates care seeking. This study evaluated: 1) Associations between caregiver-reported child QoL and caries experience; and 2) Factors associated with reported QoL, independent of caries status.

Methods: Predominantly Hispanic/Latino caregivers of children age 2-3 years at baseline (N=597) participating in the Glass Ionomer Sealant and Fluoride Varnish Trial at public health centers in San Diego County, California completed the early childhood Pediatric Oral Health Related Quality of Life (POQL) instrument at baseline and annually to 36-months (36-month retention: 85%). POQL scores were evaluated according to caregiver-reported and clinically-measured child cavitated caries status (d2mfs). Adjusted negative binomial (outcome: POQL score) and logistic (outcome: score>0) regression models included dental status and selected socioeconomic and behavioral caregiver variables and were fitted using GEE for repeated measures over time and multiple imputation for missing covariables.

Results: Any impact (score>0) was reported at relatively few child visits (9%), and most impacts (68%) resolved (score=0) by the next visit. Mean POQL scores increased (worsened) over time (baseline=0.4, 36-months=1.4, p-for-trend<0.001) as caries experience accumulated with age. Mean POQL score was associated with greater caries experience (d2mfs≥5 vs. d2mfs=0, score ratio=4.5, p<0.001), d2mfs increment since last visit (p<0.001), and worse caregiver-perceived child dental health (p<0.001). Adjusted for d2mft, POQL scores were positively associated with more frequent caregiver checking of the child's teeth (>10-times semiannually vs. never, score ratio=2.4, p=0.009) and cavity treatment within the past year (score ratio=3.5, p=0.001). Low income and low education were associated with lower POQL scores, but not statistically significantly.

Conclusions: In this cohort that received continuing dental care, QoL impacts were minimal for most children but worsened with caries experience. Caregiver vigilance (checking child's teeth) and recent treatment for cavities, but not caregiver socioeconomic status, were significantly associated with caregiver-reported QoL impact.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:
NIH/NIDCR (U54DE019285, U54DE019275, U54DE019259, U54DE014251, and R21DE018650)

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE

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