Measuring oral health from a public health perspective

Gunvi Johansson, Björn Söderfeldt, Elisabeth Wärnberg Gerdin, Arne Halling, Björn Axtelius, Anna-Lena Ostberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The paper aims to analyse measures of oral health-related quality of life (OHQOL) from a Public Health perspective. Twenty-two measures were analysed conceptually as to their mirroring of the Public Health principles: empowerment, participation, holism and equity. Elements of empowerment were found in connection with application of the measures. Participation was found in using lay opinions during development in 12 measures. All measures analysed had elements of a holistic approach so far that they were not wholly biological. Two measures captured positive health effects. Measures were available for all ages, various languages and populations, an element of equity. No measure was wholly compatible with Public Health. They were based on a utilitarian theory not in full accordance with modern health promotion. There is a need to develop measures that more obviously capture the positive aspects of health and health as a process, as well as the personal perspective of oral health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-137
    Number of pages12
    JournalSwedish Dental Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)
    • Medical and Health Sciences (3)


    • Measures
    • oral health
    • oral health-related quality of life
    • public health


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