Construction and validation of the quality of life measure for dentine hypersensitivity (DHEQ)

Olga V Boiko, Sarah R Baker, Barry J Gibson, David Locker, Farzana Sufi, Ashley P S Barlow, Peter G Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To develop and validate a condition specific measure of oral health-related quality of life for dentine hypersensitivity (Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire, DHEQ).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Questionnaire construction used a multi-staged impact approach and an explicit theoretical model. Qualitative and quantitative development and validation included in-depth interviews, focus groups and cross-sectional questionnaire studies in a general population (n=160) and a clinical sample (n=108).

RESULTS: An optimized DHEQ questionnaire containing 48 items has been developed to describe the pain, a scale to capture subjective impacts of dentine hypersensitivity, a global oral health rating and a scale to record effects on life overall. The impact scale had high values for internal reliability (nearly all item-total correlations >0.4 and Cronbach's α=0.86). Intra-class correlation coefficient for test-retest reliability was 0.92. The impact scale was strongly correlated to global oral health ratings and effects on life overall. These results were similar when DHEQ was validated in a clinical sample.

CONCLUSIONS: DHEQ shows good psychometric properties in both a general population and clinical sample. Its use can further our understanding of the subjective impacts of dentine sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-80
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dentin Sensitivity
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


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