Quality of life and psychological problems of patients with oral mucosal disease in dermatological practice

S. Tabolli, F. Bergamo, L. Alessandroni, C. Di Pietro, F. Sampogna, D. Abeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Dermatologists see patients with oral mucosal conditions. Objectives: To evaluate oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) and the burden of disease of dermatological patients with oral mucosal diseases. Methods: All consecutive patients (April 2005 to November 2006) coming to the oral health care unit of the IDI-IRCCS in Rome were asked to complete oral health-specific (14-item Oral Health Impact Profile, OHIP-14), generic health status (12-item Short Form of Medical Outcome Study, SF-12) and general psychological (12-item General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-12) questionnaires. Physicians and patients gave a global assessment of severity of disease on a 5-point scale. Results: 206 patients participated. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) had the highest impact on OHRQoL. Women had poorer OHRQoL both on physical and mental scales of the SF-12. 33.7% of patients were GHQ-positive with women showing a much higher prevalence than men (39.7 vs. 20.3%). OHIP-14 high scores were observed in RAS, followed by oral lichen planus and burning mouth syndrome. Patients whose condition was 'underestimated' by the physicians had the worst OHRQoL and psychological status. Conclusions: Administration of specific and generic questionnaires provides a detailed picture of the impact of oral diseases on patients, which adds information that may be useful in clinical practice. The possible contribution of such tools should be assessed in a randomized controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Life quality
  • Oral Health Impact Profile, 14-item
  • Oral mucosal diseases
  • Patient outcome assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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