Demand and use for oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) instruments have increased in recent years in both research and clinical settings. These instruments can be used to measure patient's health status or detect changes in a patient's health status in response to an intervention or changes in disease trajectory. Ensuring universal acceptance of these measures requires easy interpretation of its scores for clinicians, researchers, and patients. The most important way of describing and interpreting this significance of changes in OHRQoL is through the establishment of minimal important difference (MID). The minimally important difference represents the smallest improvement considered worthwhile by a patient. A comprehensive search of published literature identified only 12 published articles on establishment of MID for OHRQoL measures. This scarcity of published studies on MID encourages the need of appropriate interpretation and describing patient satisfaction in reference to that treatment using MID. Anchor- and distribution-based methods are the two general approaches that have been proposed and recommended to interpret differences or changes in OHRQoL. Both of these methods of determining the MID have specific shortcomings; therefore, it is proposed to adopt triangulation approaches in which the methods are combined. The objective of this review is to summarize the need for, importance of, and recommendations for methods of establishing MID for OHRQoL measures.
Involvement of oral health educators among non-health professionals in oral health promotion is important in the prevention of oral diseases. This study was carried out to compare the level of oral health knowledge among pre-school teachers before and after oral health seminar. Pre-test data was collected by distributing questionnaire to pre-school teachers in Pasir Mas, who attended the seminar on "Oral Health" (n=33) and they were required to fill anonymously before the seminar started. The questions consisted of information on general background, perceived oral health status, oral health knowledge and the environment where they work. After two weeks, post-test data was collected using the same structured questionnaire and identification code was used to match the pre and post data. SPSS 11.5 was use for statistical analysis. Two out of 33 eligible preschool teachers were considered non-respondents due to absenteeism during the post-test data collection. The response rate was 94.0% (n = 31). The study shows a significant improvement in oral health knowledge among pre-school teachers in Pasir Mas, after seminar (p < 0.001) as compared to controls. Thus, we can conclude that the oral health programme (seminar) appeared effective at influencing oral health educator's knowledge towards oral health.
About 27% of the eligible respondents reported having experienced some form of dental problems in the preceding one year prior to the interview. Female respondents (57.1%) were more likely to have encountered a dental problem as compared to male respondents (22.6%). Of the various nationalities, the Thais (60.7%) and the Pakistanis were the most and least likely respectively to have encountered a dental problem in the preceding one year. This pattern among the Thais was consistent for both the male (48.4%) and female (70.6%) population. Toothache (85.0%) was reportedly the most prevalent dental problems encountered regardless of gender and nationality, followed by sensitivity to hot and cold drinks (34.4%). About 1 in 4 subjects who had dental problem reported having bleeding gums. About 1 in 4 subjects who had dental problems had consulted the doctor or dentists regarding their problem and one more than one-half had self-medicated. Overall the majority (84.4%) of the respondents have never visited the dentists in Malaysia. Lack of perceived need was cited as the main reason for this.