Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Oral Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Do we need more than one Child Perceptions Questionnaire for children and adolescents?

Lyndie A Foster Page1*, Dorothy Boyd2 and W Murray Thomson3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dentistry, University of Otago, PO Box 647, Dunedin, New Zealand

2 Department of Oral Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

3 Department of Oral Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Oral Health 2013, 13:26  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-13-26

Published: 12 June 2013



In dentistry, measures of oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) provide essential information for assessing treatment needs, making clinical decisions and evaluating interventions, services and programmes. The two most common measures used to examine child OHRQoL today are the Child Perceptions Questionnaire at two ages, 8–10 and 11–14 (CPQ8-10, CPQ11-14). The reliability and validity of these two versions have been demonstrated together with that (more recently) of the short-form 16-item impact version of the CPQ11-14. This study set out to examine the reliability and validity of the Child Oral Health Quality of Life Questionnaires (COHQOL) instruments the CPQ8-10 and impact short-form CPQ11-14 in 5-to-8-year-old New Zealand children, and to determine whether a single measure for children aged 5–14 is feasible.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 5-to-8-year-old children attending for dental treatment in community clinics in 2011. Children were examined for dental caries, with OHRQoL measured using the CPQ8-10 and short-form CPQ11-14. Construct validity was evaluated by comparing mean scale scores across ordinal categories of caries experience; correlational construct validity was assessed by comparing mean CPQ scores across children’s global ratings of oral health and well-being.


The 183 children (49.7% female) aged 5 to 8 years who took part in the study represent a 98.4% participation rate. The overall mean dmft was 6.0 (SD, 2.0 range 1 to 13). Both questionnaire versions detected differences in the impact of dental caries on quality of life, with the greatest scores in the expected direction. Both versions showed higher scores among those with poorer oral health. There was a very strong and positive correlation between CPQ11-14 scores and CPQ8-10 scores (Pearsons’s r = 0.98; P < 0.01).


The performance of both versions of the COHQOL measures (CPQ8-10 and short-form CPQ11-14) appears to be acceptable in this younger age group, and this work represents the first stage in validating this questionnaire in a younger age group. It also further confirms that younger children are capable of providing their own perceptions of oral health impacts. The acceptability of the short-from CPQ11-14 in this younger age group lends support to its use in children between ages 5 and 14.

Children; Indexes; Health status indicators; Validity