While different measures have been validated and used to assess the oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) of children and adolescents, no previous study has tested the psychometric performance of OHRQoL amongst the most marginalized adolescents, living in extremely deprived neighbourhoods like urban slums and resettlement areas in modern cities. Our study assessed the internal consistency reliability, construct validity and Minimally Important Difference (MID) of the Child-OIDP in a sample of adolescents aged 12–15 years reporting oral health problems that lived in three different types (including two extremely vulnerable) of neighbourhoods (urban slums, resettlement colonies, and middle and upper middle-class neighbourhoods) in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
We conducted data analysis on a cross-sectional study, comprising of 840 adolescents. The Child-OIDP was used as a measure of OHRQoL. Internal consistency reliability was tested using the standardized Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient. The Child-OIDP was also tested for content and construct validity (the latter through the median test), while a distribution-based approach was used to identify the MID.
The Indian Child-OIDP showed good internal consistency, as the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.77. Inter-item correlation coefficients among the items ranged from 0.13 to 0.50, with the mean inter-item correlation being 0.30. The corrected item-total correlations ranged from 0.30 (social contact) to 0.54 (speaking). For construct validity, the Child-OIDP extent was significantly associated with three subjective oral and general health variables in the expected direction. The calculated effect sizes for these differences indicated that they were moderate (0.50–0.79). We also calculated the standard error of measurement (SEM) of Child-OIDP extent as 0.75.
This study demonstrated that the Indian Child-OIDP is a reliable and valid measure for the assessment of the oral health related quality of life among Indian adolescents especially from marginalised and socioeconomically vulnerable groups. This is an essential step towards assessing oral health and evaluating oral health promotion interventions in those populations and settings.