Construct validity of locker's global oral health item

W. M. Thomson, G. C. Mejia, J. M. Broadbent, R. Poulton

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63 Citations (Scopus)


With clinical oral examinations not always possible in health surveys, researchers may instead be invited to add questions to a wider health survey. In such situations, an item is needed which adequately represents both clinical and self-reported oral health. This study investigated the clinical validity of Locker's global self-reported oral health item among young middle-aged adults in populations in New Zealand and Australia. Clinical examination and self-report data (including the OHIP-14) were obtained from recent national dental surveys in NZ and Australia, and from age-38 assessments in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. National dataset analyses involved 35- to 44-year-olds. Caries and tooth-loss experience showed mostly consistent, statistically significant gradients across the Locker item responses; those responding 'Excellent' had the lowest scores, and those responding 'Poor' the highest. Periodontitis experience gradients in the NZ national sample were mainly as hypothesized; those rating their oral health as 'Poor' had the highest disease experience. OHIP-14 gradients across the Locker item responses were consistent and as hypothesized. The proportion of disease in the population borne by those 'Fair' or 'Poor' ranged from 26% to 72%. These findings provide preliminary support for the measure's validity as a global self-reported oral health measure in young middle-aged adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1042
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • data collection
  • dental caries
  • oral health
  • periodontal diseases
  • quality of life
  • self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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