Influence of children's oral health-related quality of life on school performance and school absenteeism

J Public Health Dent. 2012 Spring;72(2):156-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2011.00301.x. Epub 2012 Feb 28.


Objective: This study assessed the relation of child oral health-related quality of life with school performance and school absenteeism.

Methods: We followed a cross-sectional design with a multistage random sample of 312 12-year-old schoolchildren living in Brazil. The participants completed the child perceptions questionnaire (CPQ(11-14) ) that provides information about psychological factors, while their parents or guardians answered questions on their socioeconomic status measured by parents' education level and household income. A dental examination of each child provided information on the prevalence of caries and dental trauma. Data on school performance, which included the results of baseline Brazilian language (Portuguese) tests, and school absenteeism (school days missed) were obtained from the school register. Multilevel linear regression was used to investigate the association among psychological and socioeconomic status and children's school performance.

Results: In the multiple model, after adjusting for individual covariates, being a girl was associated with higher school performance (P < 0.05), whereas low household income (P < 0.05), higher mean of CPQ(11-14) (P < 0.05), and higher school days missed (P < 0.001) were identified as individual determinants of lower school performance. When the school-level covariates were included in the model, the association between subjects' level characteristics and school performance still persisted.

Conclusion: Children's school performance and absence were influenced by psychological and socioeconomic conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Dental Health Surveys
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Health*
  • Quality of Life*