Overview and quality assurance for the oral health component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005-08

Authors

  • Bruce A. Dye DDS, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics at Hyattsville, MD
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  • Laurie K. Barker MSPH,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion/Division of Oral Health at Atlanta, GA
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  • Xiafen Li MS,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics at Hyattsville, MD
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  • Brenda G. Lewis MPH,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics at Hyattsville, MD
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  • Eugenio D. Beltrán-Aguilar DMD, MPH, MS, DrPH

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion/Division of Oral Health at Atlanta, GA
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  • Ethics statement: All study participants gave informed consent in accordance with the Ethics Review Board and study ethic guidelines at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors do not have any financial or other competing interests to declare.

Dr. Bruce Dye, CDC/NCHS/NHANES Program, 3311 Toledo Road, RM 4416, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Tel.: 301-458-4199; Fax: 301-458-4029; e-mail: bfd1@cdc.gov. Bruce A. Dye, Xiafen Li, and Brenda G. Lewis are with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics. Laurie K. Barker and Eugenio D. Beltrán-Aguilar are with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion/Division of Oral Health.

Abstract

The oral health component for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was changed in 2005 from an examination conducted by dentists to an oral health screening conducted by health technologists rather than dental professionals. The oral health screening included a person-based assessment for dental caries, restorations, and sealants. This report provides oral health content information and presents results of data quality analyses that include dental examiner reliability statistics for data collected during NHANES 2005-08. Oral health data are available on 15,342 persons aged 5 years and older representing the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States who participated in NHANES 2005-08. Overall, interrater reliability findings indicate that health technologist performance was excellent with concordance between examination teams and the survey reference examiner being almost perfect for a number of assessments. Concordance for dental caries and sealants (kappa statistics) between health technologists and the survey reference examiner ranged from 0.82 to 0.90 for the combined 4-year period. These findings support the use of health technologists in the assessment of person-based estimators of dental caries and sealant prevalence as part of an oral health surveillance system.

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