The Validity of Self-reported Oral Health Status in the Elderly


Send correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Douglass. Manuscript received: 8/2/90; returned to authors for revision: 9/10/90; accepted for publication: 11/9/90.


The validity of self-reported number of teeth was assessed in a random sample of 50 individuals aged 70+ by comparing self-reports in a telephone interview with results of a subsequent in-home examination by a dentist. There were no significant differences between self-report and examination data, nor was there any systematic under- or over-counting of teeth as the actual number of teeth increased. These data support the validity of self-reported dentition.