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Parental caregivers perceptions of oral health-related quality of life in children with autism spectrum disorder

Journal of Dental Health, Oral Disorders & Therapy
Vanessa dos Santos Viana,1 Matheus dos Santos Fernandez,2 Filipe de Souza Nunes,1 Igor Soares Vieira,3 Paulo Ricardo Saquete Martins-Filho1

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The aim of this study is to assess the impact of oral conditions on the quality of life (QoL) of children and adolescents with autism spectrum from the perspective of their parentcaregivers. A convenience sample, including 40 children and adolescents with autism, aged 6 to 14, attended in seven institutions for people with special health care in the state of Sergipe, Brazil. It was used the Brazilian version of the Parental-Caregivers Perceptions Questionnaire (P-CPQ) and the Family Impact Scale (FIS), which are applied to evaluate the perception of parents or caregivers on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of children and adolescents. The clinical oral examination was performed for the prevalence of dental caries and assessment of oral hygiene. The global score for the P-CPQ in the sample ranged from 0 to 63, with a mean of 13.52 (9.05). 97.5% of mothers reported that oral conditions had an impact on OHRQoL. The increase in years of schooling (p=0.016) of caregivers was associated to greater perception regarding their child’s OHRQoL. Most children and adolescents with autism had no caries experience and presented good to moderate oral hygiene. We did not find differences in OHRQoL scores according to the oral hygiene status and prevalence of dental caries. This study suggested that caregiver literacy has played a role in OHRQoL in children and adolescents with autism. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to assess the influence of other oral health measures on QoL in this population.


autism spectrum disorder, quality of life, oral health, dental caries, function, knowledge, child, sugary drinks, foods, oral health, social well-being