Oral health-related quality of life among low-income adults living with HIV

Scott L. Tomar, Margaret Pereyra, Lisa R. Metsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: To explore oral health-related quality of life and its correlates among low-income human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients receiving primary HIV care. Methods: Data were from a randomized experimental trial evaluating an intervention to increase use of oral health services by low-income HIV-positive adults. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish among 594 adults receiving HIV medical care but not dental care. Oral health-related quality of life was measured with the 49-item Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-49). Primary predictor variables included measures of HIV disease: duration of HIV infection, CD4 cell count, and HIV viral load. Other predictors included sociodemographic and behavioral factors. Results: Overall, 62.6 percent of participants had experienced at least one oral health impact very often or fairly often in the 4 weeks preceding the survey, with a mean of 5.8 impacts. The mean number of impacts was significantly higher for women, the unemployed, those living in temporary housing, and current smokers. Neither the prevalence nor the mean number of impacts differed significantly by duration of HIV infection, CD4(+) T lymphocyte cell count, or HIV viral load. In bivariate analysis, women had higher mean OHIP-49 scores than men overall (62.6 versus 50.5, P < 0.05) and for most subscales, indicating that women experienced more oral health impacts. In the final multivariate model, significant correlates of OHIP-49 were sex, race/ethnicity, living situation, and smoking status. Conclusions: Oral health impacts are prevalent among adults in South Florida living with HIV, particularly among women, cigarette smokers, those in prison or other institutional settings, and certain racial and ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • HIV
  • oral health
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral health-related quality of life among low-income adults living with HIV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this