OHRQoL in a Sample of Alcohol and Drug Abusers

A.J. van Wijk1, *, G. Molendijk2, #, G.H.W. Verrips1, 3
1 ACTA, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Centrum Bijzondere Tandheelkunde, Heinzestraat 2, 1071 SK, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 TNO, Wassenaarseweg 36, 2301 CE, Leiden, The Netherlands

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Creative Commons License
© van Wijk et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the ACTA, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tel: +31 (0)20 5980393; E-mail:

Director of the CBT Jellinek Amsterdam up to 2013



To determine oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) in a large sample of substance abusers and to evaluate the effect of dental treatment on OHRQoL.


A longitudinal observational study.


A dental care clinic specialized in treating severely addicted patients.


A sample of severely addicted substance abusers.


OHRQoL was measured using the OHIP-14, which was filled out at baseline (T0), prior to the first treatment session (T1), after about 6 treatment sessions (T2) and on the last day of treatment (T3).


Mean OHIP scores did not change from T0 to T1. At T1, a mean OHIP-14 total score = 37.1 (sd=12.4, N = 392) was found. The highest mean scores were observed for the subscales physical pain and psychological discomfort. Data from 129 patients was available on both T1 and T2. The mean OHIP-14 total score reduced significantly (mean difference = 5.63, 95% CI 3.76 – 7.51), t(128)=5.94, p <0.001. The highest reduction in mean score was found for the subscale physical pain (mean difference = 1.24, 95%CI 0.81 – 1.66). Also between T2 and T3 a significant reduction in OHIP-14 total score (mean difference = 2.41, 95%CI 0.06-4.76) took place.


The oral health status of substance abusers does have a substantial effect on their quality of life, which can be improved to a great extent by dental treatment based on a model tailored to addicted patients.

Keywords: Dental treatment, Drug addicts, Oral health related quality of life, Special care dentistry.