Oral health-related quality of life: a model for dental hygiene

J Dent Hyg. 1998 Spring;72(2):19-26.


During the past decade, dental hygiene has been challenged to develop conceptual models to define the discipline. Such models can provide a common language and infrastructure for the discipline to define the process of care. Health-Related Quality of Life conceptual models have been adopted by many health professions to assist in planning health-related interventions and assessing outcomes to care. Based on the Natural History of Disease Schema, the Wilson & Cleary model, and Neuman's Systems Model, a new conceptual model for dental hygiene is proposed. The Oral Health-Related Quality of Life Model, composed of six primary domains: Health/Preclinical Disease, Biological/Clinical Disease, Symptom Status, Functional Status, Health Perceptions, and General Quality of Life. This model proposes a dynamic relationship among these domains and characteristics unique to individual clients or populations, and may have utility for interdisciplinary communication. As an integrated model, it may serve as a foundation for assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes to dental hygiene care. This paper reviews possible application of the model for clinical practice, research, and education.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Prophylaxis*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Oral Health*
  • Quality of Life*