INTRODUCTION: We developed a brief measure of the impact of oral conditions on individual functioning and well-being, known as oral quality of life.
METHODS: Among older male veterans (N = 827) and community dental patients (N = 113), we administered surveys consisting of extant oral quality of life items, using clinical dental data from the veteran samples. We assigned each oral quality of life item to a theoretical dimension, conducted an iterative series of multitrait scaling analyses to examine the item-fit with the dimensions, reduced the number of items, and examined the psychometric characteristics of new scales and their association with clinical indices.
RESULTS: We developed two brief oral quality of life scales, one consisting of 12 items and the other of 6, the latter a subset of the former. Each demonstrated sound psychometric properties and was sensitive to clinical indices.
CONCLUSION: The two brief oral quality of life scales can be used to assess the population-based impact of oral conditions as well as outcomes of dental care.