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Keywords:

  • Behavioral sciences;
  • forensic nursing;
  • forensic psychiatric patients;
  • oral health;
  • quality of life;
  • validity

Abstract

Because dental health and oral pathology may affect forensic psychiatric patients’ well being, it is important to be able to assess oral health related quality of life (OH-QoL) in these patients. Two studies were conducted among Dutch forensic psychiatric male patients to assess the psychometric properties and some potential predictors of the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14) as a measure of OH-QoL. Study 1 involved 40 patients who completed the OHIP-14 before receiving professional dental care and were retested 3 months later. The internal consistency was good, the test–retest correlations were fair, and over the 3 months follow-up no significant changes in OH-QoL were observed. Study 2 consisted of 39 patients who completed an improved version of the original OHIP-14, as well as measures to validate of the OHIP. Dental anxiety and unhealthy dentition jointly explained 26.7% of the variance in OH-QoL, and the better patients performed their oral hygiene behavior, the better their OH-QoL. It is concluded that the Dutch OHIP-14 is a useful instrument, and that nurses, especially in forensic nursing, should pay particularly attention to dental anxiety when encouraging patients to visit OH professionals and to perform adequate oral hygiene self-care.