Thesis defence in the University of Oulu

Doctoral Candidate

BDS, MPH Saujanya Karki

Faculty and research unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Oral Health Sciences

Field of study

Oral Health Sciences

Date and time of the thesis defence

18.10.2019 12:00

Place of the thesis defence

Auditorium H1091

Topic of the dissertation

Oral health status, oral health-related quality of life and associated factors among Nepalese schoolchildren.


Professor Magnus Hakeberg, University of Gothenburg


Professor Vuokko Anttonen, University of Oulu

Oral health status, oral health-related quality of life and associated factors among Nepalese schoolchildren.

This national cross-sectional study aimed to measure the oral health status, and oral health related-quality of life (OHRQoL) among Nepalese schoolchildren. Another aim was to investigate the association of dental caries and its consequences with OHRQoL, sociodemographic factors, oral health-related behaviours, anthropometrics, and school attendance and performance.

The study was conducted in 18 out of total 75 randomly selected districts of Nepal representing 5 developmental, and concurrently 3 simultaneously ecological regions. Altogether 1137 of the invited 1157 schoolchildren from 27 conveniently selected schools participated both in the survey and clinical examination.

Information on sociodemographic factors and oral health-related behaviours was collected using a structured questionnaire. Validated Nepali Child-OIDP was used for assessing children’s OHRQoL. Clinical oral examinations were conducted as per the WHO guidelines and assessed dental caries, its consequences (pufa/PUFA) and periodontal status. BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio were computed from anthropometric measurements. School-related information included data on school absenteeism was collected from school registry and school performance (percentage of the sum of scores in three core subjects).

Gingival bleeding was highly prevalent among all participants. The youngest ones had most often need for dental caries treatment; 79% vs. 64% among the oldest ones. Dental caries and its consequences were most prevalent among those living in the Kathmandu Valley or in the rural areas or in mountain or hilly ecological regions, as well as those consuming sweets or candy, or tea with sugar, and brushing teeth infrequently.

Most of the participants had problem with eating, cleaning the mouth, and sleeping. Dental caries and its consequences were associated with poor OHRQoL. They were also associated with both high and low BMI and central obesity (high waist-to-hip and waist-to-height ratios) as well as high school absenteeism (>13% of total schooldays missed) and poor school performance. Both low and high BMI, and poor OHRQoL, as well as high school absenteeism were all inversely associated with school performance.

In conclusion, dental caries and gingival bleeding are common among Nepalese schoolchildren. Dental caries and its consequences are associated with poor OHRQoL. These conditions are also associated with sociodemographic factors, poor oral health-related behaviours, and anthropometrics (BMI and central obesity) as well as high school absenteeism and poor school performance.



Last updated: 10.10.2019