Purpose: To determine the self-perceived oral health and general health as well as the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) among parents in Kuwait.
Keywords: general health perceptions, Kuwait, oral health perceptions, parents, quality of life
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among parents visiting the School Oral Health Programme (SOHP) clinics in all the governorates in Kuwait. Being a parent and able to read and understand the Arabic language was the inclusion criterion. A convenience sample of parents (n = 2357) were enrolled in this study, which was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire in Arabic. The questionnaire included previously validated questions and also questions designed for this study. The parents completed and returned the questionnaire while waiting for their children in the waiting area of the SOHP clinic.
Results: The mean age of the parents was 38.3 ± 7.3 years. The majority (75.2%) of the participants perceived their oral health ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and 76.4% also rated their general health as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’. Overall, higher levels of perceived oral health were reported more frequently by younger participants, females, Kuwaitis, and those who had higher levels of education (p < 0.001). Most of the participants (72.3%) were satisfied with their oral health, (91.0%) enjoyed eating their food and (79.0%) liked their smile. Perceived difficulty in chewing food was stated by only 21.0%, and very few (5.0%) had speech difficulties. Almost half (45.0%) mentioned that they had never had any dental and/or gum problems that affected their daily activities during the past 6 months, nor did such problems influence their social activities. Nearly two-thirds (61.0%) stated that they never had any difficulty in conversation, and half (49.0%) did not report any disturbance in their sleep. Cronbach’s alpha (0.89) showed a high degree of internal consistency between different OHRQoL responses.
Conclusion: Most of the parents were satisfied with their oral health, which had an impact on their quality of life.