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18-08-2017 | Uitgave 12/2017 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 12/2017

Social inequalities in children’s oral health-related quality of life: the Generation R Study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 12/2017
Lea Kragt, Eppo B. Wolvius, Hein Raat, Vincent W. V. Jaddoe, Edwin M. Ongkosuwito
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-017-1679-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) is the most important patient-reported outcome measure in oral health research. The purpose of the present research was to study the association of family socioeconomic position (SEP) with children’s OHRQoL.


This cross-sectional study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort study conducted in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For the present study, OHRQoL was assessed of 3871 ten-year old children. Family SEP was assessed with the following indicators: maternal/paternal education level, maternal/paternal employment status, household income, benefit dependency, and family composition. Linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the (independent) associations of family SEP indicators with OHRQoL.


The median (90% range) OHRQoL score of the participating children was relatively high [50.0 (43.0–53.0)]; however, OHRQoL was consistently lower in children with low family SEP. Positive associations were found for all SEP indicators (p-values <0.05) except maternal employment status and family composition. Benefit dependency, paternal employment, and household income were the most strongly associated with OHRQoL. No family SEP indicator was significantly associated with OHRQoL independent of the other indicators.


Based on the present findings, interventions and policies promoting good oral health and oral well-being should target children from low socioeconomic position. More research is needed, however, to understand the pathways of social inequalities in children’s OHRQoL especially for the effects of material resources on subjective oral health measures.

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