Chronic oral mucosal conditions, including oral ulcers, commonly affect children and young people and are capable of significant pain and morbidity. Little is known about patient perception of paediatric oral medicine services offered in relation to these conditions. The concept of a diary is increasingly recognised as a valuable way to capture patient events and perspective in healthcare research.

Aim of the paper

This article provides the background to the use of solicited diaries as a method of accessing the perspective of children and young people and describes a service evaluation that aimed to explore the experiences of young people with chronic oral ulcers attending the paediatric oral medicine clinic in a UK Dental Hospital.


Chronic oral ulcers were found to significantly impact on a variety of physical and psychosocial aspects of young people's lives. Overall, feedback regarding the specialist service was positive but suggestions were made for improvements.


This article reviews the use of the solicited diary within healthcare research. It also illustrates the value of the diary in exploration of children and young people's perspective on their chronic oral mucosal disease. In addition, a need for further research in this area has been highlighted.