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Quantitative data collection approaches in subject-reported oral health research: a scoping review

Carl A. Maida, Di Di Xiong, Marvin Marcus, Linyu Zhou, Yilan Huang, Yuetong Lyu, Jie Shen, Antonia Osuna-Garcia,
Published: 3 October 2022

Abstract: Background: This scoping review reports on studies that collect survey data using quantitative research to measure self-reported oral health status outcome measures. The objective of this review is to categorize measures used to evaluate self-reported oral health status and oral health quality of life used in surveys of general populations. Methods: The review is guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) with the search on four online bibliographic databases. The criteria include (1) peer-reviewed articles, (2) papers published between 2011 and 2021, (3) only studies using quantitative methods, and (4) containing outcome measures of self-assessed oral health status, and/or oral health-related quality of life. All survey data collection methods are assessed and papers whose methods employ newer technological approaches are also identified. Results: Of the 2981 unduplicated papers, 239 meet the eligibility criteria. Half of the papers use impact scores such as the OHIP-14; 10% use functional measures, such as the GOHAI, and 26% use two or more measures while 8% use rating scales of oral health status. The review identifies four data collection methods: in-person, mail-in, Internet-based, and telephone surveys. Most (86%) employ in-person surveys, and 39% are conducted in Asia-Pacific and Middle East countries with 8% in North America. Sixty-six percent of the studies recruit participants directly from clinics and schools, where the surveys were carried out. The top three sampling methods are convenience sampling (52%), simple random sampling (12%), and stratified sampling (12%). Among the four data collection methods, in-person surveys have the highest response rate (91%), while the lowest response rate occurs in Internet-based surveys (37%). Telephone surveys are used to cover a wider population compared to other data collection methods. There are two noteworthy approaches: 1) sample selection where researchers employ different platforms to access subjects, and 2) mode of interaction with subjects, with the use of computers to collect self-reported data. Conclusion: The study provides an assessment of oral health outcome measures, including subject-reported oral health status and notes newly emerging computer technological approaches recently used in surveys conducted on general populations. These newer applications, though rarely used, hold promise for both researchers and the various populations that use or need oral health care.
Keywords: Quantitative research / Patient-reported outcomes / Dental disease experience / Oral health-related quality of life / Data collection

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