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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 465-468

Evaluation of oral health-related quality of life among professional students: A cross-sectional study

Department of Periodontics, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Chinthareddypalem, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication7-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar Chava
Department of Periodontics, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Chinthareddypalem, Nellore - 524 003, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.171174

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Introduction: To determine the impact of oral diseases on everyday life, measures of oral quality of life are needed. In complementing traditional disease-based measures, they assess the need for oral care to evaluate oral healthcare programs and management of treatment. Aim: To evaluate the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) among professional college students. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to measure the OHRQOL of 940 students (males: 425, females: 515) from six different professions (medical, dental, engineering, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and master of business administration) of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, using a 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14) questionnaire. The data were analyzed using statistical analysis system to perform the Chi-square test and Kruskal–Wallis test. Results: The mean OHIP scores for medical, dental, pharmacy, physiotherapy, engineering, and MBA students were 5.2, 3.5, 3.2, 3.0, 3.6, and 2.8, respectively. The overall OHIP-14 score showed a significant statistical difference (P < 0.05) from medical students to remaining study population. Conclusion: There is much significant difference in OHRQOL in different professional students. Oral health-care providers are urged to integrate the OHRQOL concept into their daily practice to improve the outcome of their services as it provides the basis for any oral health program development.

Keywords: Oral health, oral health impact profile, oral health-related quality of life

How to cite this article:
Manapoti JP, Chava VK, Ramesh Reddy B V. Evaluation of oral health-related quality of life among professional students: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2015;13:465-8

How to cite this URL:
Manapoti JP, Chava VK, Ramesh Reddy B V. Evaluation of oral health-related quality of life among professional students: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Aug 18];13:465-8. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2015/13/4/465/171174

  Introduction Top

Oral health is an integral component of a population's general health and allows individuals to function in everyday life (eat, speak, and socialize) without any problems caused by illness, discomfort, or disability. Furthermore, oral health contributes to the overall individual's well-being.[1] The impact of oral disorders and interventions on patients perceived oral health state and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) is increasingly recognized as an important component of health. Over the past 30 years, confidence in the use of subjective indicators for oral health outcomes has increased. Allen and Locker 1997[2], and Slade 1997[3] have developed and tested the performance of measures designed to assess the functional, social, and psychological outcomes of oral conditions. OHRQOL measures are suitable subjective indicators that provide information on the impacts of oral conditions on an individual's life and the perceived need for dental care.[4]

The Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) is one such instrument that measures people's perception of the social impact of oral disorders on their well-being.[5] The OHIP was developed by Slade and Spencer (1994) and is a technically sophisticated OHRQL instrument that is widely being used internationally.[6],[7] Original OHIP consists of 49 items. Slade in 1997 developed a short-form of it with 14 questions, named OHIP-14. It has good reliability, validity, and precision.[3] Fourteen items of OHIP is subdivided into seven domains: Functional limitation, physical discomfort, psychological discomfort, physical disability, psychological disability, social disability, and handicapness.[3],[5],[8] This OHIP-14 has been used widely across the world for various research purposes, with modifications including language and regional concerns.[9]

Assessment of the OHRQOL status of young adult becomes essential, as adolescence is a crucial period of transition with personal responsibility for preventing dental disease beginning at this age and determining future oral health.[10] Only a few studies in the literature have assessed the use of socio-dental indicators in youth populations and their applicability in developing countries.[11],[12],[13],[14],[15] In our country even after being with high education, many of the professional college students are neglecting their general health as well as oral health, due to lack of knowledge on general health, oral health, and quality of life.

Hence in the present study, an attempt is made to evaluate the OHRQOL among professional students using OHIP-14 questionnaire.

  Materials and Methods Top

An epidemiological survey was conducted from December 2013 to February 2014. A staged simple random sampling method was used to select six different professional colleges (medical, dental, management, engineering, physiotherapy, and pharmacy) in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. From the total number of students pursuing the undergraduate course of studies in each of the selected colleges, all the available students who agreed to participate in the survey were selected, which gave a sample size of 940 (males: 425, females: 515) subjects.

Before the start of the survey, official permission was obtained from the corresponding authorities, and an ethical approval was obtained from the Ethical Committee.

The research instrument was OHIP questionnaire with demographic details of participants. An OHIP-14 questionnaire written in English rates the impact of their oral health on 14 key areas of OHRQOL. OHIP-14 items are grouped into seven dimensions: Functional limitation (trouble pronouncing words and worsened taste), physical pain (aching in the mouth and discomfort eating foods), psychological discomfort (feeling self-conscious and feeling tense), physical disability (interrupted meals and unsatisfactory diet), psychological disability (difficulty relaxing and embarrassment), social disability (irritability and difficulty in doing usual jobs), and handicap (life less satisfying and inability to function). Their response is asked to write in 4-point ordinal scale having grade as scores 0 (never), 1 (sometimes), 2 (very often), and 3 (always).

Statistical analysis

Data were analyzed using statistical analysis system. Descriptive statistics was used to report the responses for selected demographic variables. The Chi-square test and Kruskal–Wallis test were used to evaluate differences in the responses between professional students. P value is set as 0.05.

  Results Top

A total of 940 students (males: 425, females: 515) participated in the survey with a mean age of 20.86 years. The distributions of responses to the OHIP-14 items are presented in [Table 1], which shows that the highest mean values reported were for the OHIP-14 domains of physical pain and psychological discomfort with the mean values ranging from 0.4 to 0.8, respectively.
Table 1: Distribution of responses for OHIP score among study participants

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The results showed that there was a difference between perceived OHRQOL among students of different professional courses. The overall OHIP-14 score showed a statistical significant difference (P < 0.05) from medical students (mean score: 5.2) to dental (mean score: 3.5), physiotherapy (mean score: 3.0), pharmacy (mean score: 3.2), engineering (mean score: 3.6), and MBA students (mean score: 2.8). At the same time, the mean scores of the subscales of the OHIP-14 showed a difference between the courses with the "Physical pain," "Psychological discomfort," "Physical disability," "Psychological disability," and "Handicap" showing a statistically significant (P < 0.05) difference. Although the mean values of the subscales of "Functional Limitation" and social handicap too showed a difference, they were not statistically significant [Table 2].
Table 2: Mean OHIP-14 scores according to the type of profession

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  Discussion Top

This study reported the OHRQOL status of professional college students in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. It was observed that overall, the study population perceived a very low impact of oral health on their quality of life. Majority of students never had problems on most items. This was evident from the high percentage of respondents, scoring zero for most of the OHIP-14 items. Social desirability bias, which is the inclination to present oneself in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others, may have resulted in the respondents giving lower scores than usual on the OHIP-14 item. This effect might have been further magnified in pharmacy, physiotherapy, and MBA student population.

The results of this study also showed that oral health did impact the quality of life among the professional students and showed some degree of variation from the medical, dental, pharmacy, physiotherapy, MBA, and engineering students. The results of the study showed some subtle differences in the seven conceptual dimensions of impact, for example, psychological discomfort and physical pain are more in medical students than other professional students.

In a study, Acharya and Sangam [16] showed that oral health did impact the quality of life among the dental students and showed some degree of variation from the freshman years to the final years. The perception of a "Social handicap" and "Handicap" decreased from the 1st year to the final year. In this study, the perception of social handicap is not statistically significant.

Sundaram et al.[9] dethrone the myth that physical pain and discomfort are the common factors for which the patient seeks treatment. The younger group of patients seeks treatment for improvement of general health, oral health, personality, and social romantic life.[9]

In the present study, discomfort and physical pain were the most common chief complaints of the study population. The result of the study stresses the need for focus on oral hygiene care, home measures, and oral instructions.


This study was limited owing to the self-report method employed. The possibility that socially desired and undesired acts have been, respectively, over- – and underestimated cannot be overlooked.

The present study examined the OHRQOL status of professional students; more detailed studies regarding oral quality of life are needed in different target populations. There is a scarcity of data regarding the OHRQOL in India. To develop a sound strategy for improving dental and oral health of Indian population, a more representative database should be made available. For this, additional studies are needed using reliable and indigenously developed quality of life scales.

  Conclusion Top

It may be concluded that the OHRQOL among professional college students was considerably lower than what would be expected of these groups, which had higher literacy rate. The results showed that physical pain and psychological discomfort components of the OHRQOL are the major oral problems associated with the professional students. Hence, oral health education and motivation plays a major role in controlling oral diseases in professional students.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Roumani T, Oulis CJ, Papagiannopoulou V, Yfantopoulos J. Validation of a Greek version of the oral health impact profile (OHIP-14) in adolescents. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2010;11:247-52.  Back to cited text no. 1
Allen PF, Locker D. Do item weights matter? An assessment using the oral health impact profile. Community Dent Health 1997;14:133-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Slade GD. Derivation and validation of a short-form oral health impact profile. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1997;25:284-90.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sheiham A, Tsakos G. Oral health needs assessment. In: Pine C, Harris R, editors. Community Oral Health. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Quintessence; 2007. p. 59-79.  Back to cited text no. 4
Slade GD, Spencer AJ. Development and evaluation of the oral health impact profile. Community Dent Health 1994;11:3-11.  Back to cited text no. 5
John MT, Hujoel P, Miglioretti DL, LeResche L, Koepsell TD, Micheelis W. Dimensions of oral-health-related quality of life. J Dent Res 2004;83:956-60.  Back to cited text no. 6
Szentpétery A, Szabó G, Marada G, Szántó I, John MT. The Hungarian version of the Oral Health Impact Profile. Eur J Oral Sci 2006;114:197-203.  Back to cited text no. 7
Allen PF. Assessment of oral health related quality of life. Health Qual Life 2003;1:4.  Back to cited text no. 8
Sundaram NS, Narendar R, Dineshkumar P, Ramesh SB, Gokulanathan S. Evaluation of oral health related quality of life in patient with mild periodontitis among young male population of Namakkal district. J Pharm Bioallied Sci 2013;5 Suppl 1:S30-2.  Back to cited text no. 9
Sharda AJ, Shetty S. Relationship of periodontal status and dental caries status with oral health knowledge, attitude and behavior among professional students in India. Int J Oral Sci 2009;1:196-206.  Back to cited text no. 10
Astrøm AN, Okullo I. Validity and reliability of the Oral Impacts on Daily Performance (OIDP) frequency scale: A cross-sectional study of adolescents in Uganda. BMC Oral Health 2003;3:5.  Back to cited text no. 11
Brown A, Al-Khayal Z. Validity and reliability of the Arabic translation of the child oral-health-related quality of life questionnaire (CPQ11-14) in Saudi Arabia. Int J Paediatr Dent 2006;16:405-11.  Back to cited text no. 12
Dorri M, Sheiham A, Tsakos G. Validation of a Persian version of the OIDP index. BMC Oral Health 2007;7:2.  Back to cited text no. 13
Barbosa TS, Tureli MC, Gavião MB. Validity and reliability of the child perceptions questionnaires applied in Brazilian children. BMC Oral Health 2009;9:13.  Back to cited text no. 14
Jabarifar SE, Golkari A, Ijadi MH, Jafarzadeh M, Khadem P. Validation of a Farsi version of the early childhood oral health impact scale (F-ECOHIS). BMC Oral Health 2010;10:4.  Back to cited text no. 15
Acharya S, Sangam DK. Oral health-related quality of life and its relationship with health locus of control among Indian dental university students. Eur J Dent Educ 2008;12:208-12.  Back to cited text no. 16


  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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