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Open Access Research article

Child- and family impacts of infants’ oral conditions in Tanzania and Uganda– a cross sectional study

Ray Masumo123, Asgeir Bardsen1, Kijakazi Mashoto3 and Anne Nordrehaug Åstrøm1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Dentistry, Community Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

2 Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

3 Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:538  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-538

Published: 28 September 2012



Early childhood dental caries impacts on the quality of life of children and their families. This study set out to assess the psychometric properties of an oral health related quality of life, OHRQoL, measure, based on items emanating from the Child-and Family impact sections of the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS), in Kiswahili and Luganda speaking communities. It was hypothesized that the Child- and Family impact scores would discriminate between children with and without clinically defined dental problems and reported good and bad oral health.


Kiswahili and Luganda versions of the Child- and Family impact scores were derived through translation in pilot studies. Totals of 1221 and 816 child/caretaker pairs attending health care facilities in Manyara, Tanzania and Kampala, Uganda, were recruited into the study. After caretakers completed the interview, their children underwent oral clinical examination.


Internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) was > 0.80 with respect to the Child impact score and 0.79 regarding the Family impact score. Multiple variable logistic- and Poisson regression analyses revealed that the Kiswahili and Luganda versions of the Child- and Family impact score associated in the expected direction with child’s oral diseases as with their reported health and oral health status. In Manyara, multiple logistic regression revealed that the ORs of reporting Child impacts were 1.8 (95% CI 1.0-3.4) and 2.2 (1.3-3.4) among caretakers who confirmed linear hypoplasia and teething symptoms, respectively. In Kampala, the ORs for reporting Child impacts were 2.3 (95% CI 1.3-3.9), 1.7 (95% CI 1.1-2.5), 1.6 (95% CI 1.2-2.3) and 2.7 (95% CI 1.3-5.8) among those who confirmed teeth present, hypoplasia, teething symptoms and tooth bud extractions, respectively. The odds ratios for reporting Family impacts were 2.7 (95% CI 1.5-4.7), 1.5 (95% CI 1.1- 2.1) and 4.6 (95% CI 2.0-10.7) if reporting LEH, teething symptoms and toothbud experience, respectively.


The Child and Family impact scores demonstrated acceptable internal consistency reliability and reproducibility whereas the discriminative validity was more ambiguous. The OHRQoL scores should be developed further and tested among Kiswahili and Luganda speaking caretakers.