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Reproducibility and validity of self-perceived oral health conditions

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The reproducibility and validity of self-perceived periodontal, dental, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) conditions were investigated. A questionnaire was applied in interview to 200 adults aged from 35 to 44, who were attending as casual patients at Araraquara School of Dentistry, São Paulo State University, São Paulo, Brazil. Clinical examination was based on the guidelines of the World Health Organization manual. The interview and the clinical examination were performed in two occasions, by a calibrated examiner. Reproducibility and validity were, respectively, verified by kappa statistics (κ) and sensitivity (Sen) and specificity (Spec) values, having clinical examination as the validation criterion. The results showed an almost perfect agreement for self-perceived TMJ (κ = 0.85) and periodontal conditions (κ = 0.81), and it was substantial for dental condition (κ = 0.69). Reproducibility according to clinical examination showed good results (κ = 0.73 for CPI index, κ = 0.96 for dental caries, and κ = 0.74 for TMJ conditions). Sensitivity and specificity values were higher for self-perceived dental (Sen = 0.84, Spec = 1.0) and TMJ conditions (Sen = 1.0, Spec = 0.8). With regard to periodontal condition, specificity was low (0.43), although sensitivity was very high (1.0). Self-perceived oral health was reliable for the examined conditions. Validity was good to detect dental conditions and TMJ disorders, and it was more sensitive than specific to detect the presence of periodontal disease.

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The authors would like to thank Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo/FAPESP. This study was supported by research grants number 02/07615-6 and 03/07271-8.

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Correspondence to Camila Pinelli.

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Pinelli, C., de Castro Monteiro Loffredo, L. Reproducibility and validity of self-perceived oral health conditions. Clin Oral Invest 11, 431–437 (2007).

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