Review Article

Systematic review of factors influencing oral health-related quality of life in children in Africa

Yolanda Malele-Kolisa, Veerasamy Yengopal, Jude Igumbor, Cathrine B. Nqcobo, Tshakane R.D. Ralephenya
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1943 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.1943 | © 2019 Yolanda Malele-Kolisa, Veerasamy Yengopal, Jude Igumbor, Cathrine B. Nqcobo, Tshakane R.D. Ralephenya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2018 | Published: 24 July 2019

About the author(s)

Yolanda Malele-Kolisa, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Veerasamy Yengopal, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Jude Igumbor, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Cathrine B. Nqcobo, Department of Paediatric and Restorative Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tshakane R.D. Ralephenya, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) is influenced by cultural and societal context. Existing OHRQoL children measurement tools have been conceptualised in high-income countries. Probing whether the factors influencing OHRQoL are context-reliant in the African setting is necessary and is the purpose of the current review.

Aim: To investigate if the factors influencing OHRQoL are context-reliant.

Methods: Seven databases were searched using search terms (‘oral health’; and ‘quality of life’, ‘health-related quality of life’, ‘patient-reported outcomes’, ‘well-being’; and ‘child*’, ‘adolescents’, ‘teen*’, ‘youth’; and ‘determinants’, ‘factors’, ‘predictors’; and ‘oral health quality of life tools/instruments/scales’; and ‘Africa*’). Abstracts identified were exported to a reference software manager. Three of the authors used specific selection criteria to review, firstly, 307 abstracts and, secondly, 30 full papers. Data were extracted from these papers using a pre-designed data extraction form, after which quantitative synthesis of data was performed.

Results: Key factors influencing OHRQoL followed an existing conceptual framework where environmental and individual factors in the form of socio-economic status (SES), area of residence and children psyche status, and the presence of any oral condition other than dental caries were reported among child populations in Africa.

Conclusion: There is preliminary evidence to suggest an association between individual factors such as children’s psyche and oral problems, excluding dental caries, and environmental determinants such as area of residence and SES in children’s OHRQoL in African children. The finding that dental caries was not a key factor in child-oral health is unexpected. There seemed to be a contextual viewpoint underpinning the current OHRQoL frameworks and OHRQoL was context-reliant.


Keywords

oral health; oral health-related quality of life; factors; children; Africa

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