Abstract: Objective: Paediatric oral disorders are likely to have a negative effect on the quality of life. Until recently, children’s oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) was measured using parents as informants. Instruments have now been developed, which have demonstrated that with appropriate questionnaire techniques, valid and reliable information can be obtained from children. The aim of this study was to make a systematic review of the existing literature about child perceptions of OHRQoL and their validation.
Methods: A computerized search was conducted using Medline, ISI, Lilacs and Scielo for children’s perception of OHRQoL. The inclusion criteria were: the articles should contain well-validated instruments and provide child perceptions of OHRQoL.
Results: From 89 records found, 13 fulfilled the criteria. All studies included in the critical appraisal of the project suggested good construct validity of overall child perceptions of OHRQoL. However, children’s understanding of oral health and well-being are also affected by variables (age, age-related experiences, gender, race, education, culture, experiences related to oral conditions, opportunities for treatment, childhood period of changes, back-translating questionnaire, children self-perceived treatment need).
Conclusions: The structure of children’s self-concept and health cognition is age-dependent as a result of their continuous cognitive, emotional, social and language development. By using appropriate questionnaire techniques, valid and reliable information can be obtained from children concerning their OHRQoL.