IADR Abstract Archives

Longitudinal validation of the Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire (DHEQ)

Objectives: The 34-item Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire (DHEQ) is a condition specific health-related quality of life (OHQoL) scale with five domains; restrictions, coping, social, emotional and identity. DHEQ has been validated cross-sectionally in both general and clinical populations.  The aim of this study was to evaluate the responsiveness of DHEQ to changed dentine hypersensitivity and further assess its reliability and validity.

Methods: DHEQ was completed by 311 participants in three RCTs; RCT1 and RCT2 compared anti-sensitivity toothpastes (ASTs) with negative controls (n = 93 and 118) and RCT3 compared an AST with an active control (n = 100). Participants completed the DHEQ at baseline and both 4 and 8 (RCT2, RCT3) or 12 and 24 weeks follow-up (RCT1). ANCOVAs tested the effect of group (treatment, control) to predict follow-up DHEQ total scores, using baseline DHEQ as a covariate.

Results: Mean DHEQ scores at follow-up were significantly lower (i.e. less OHQoL impact) in the AST group compared to negative control in RCT1 (p < .05) but not RCT2. The difference in RCT1 was due to changes in the coping domain (p < .05), with trends for restrictions (p = .07) and identity (p = .05). As predicted, follow-up DHEQ scores were similar in the AST group and active controls (RCT3). DHEQ demonstrated excellent internal (α = .96) and test-retest reliability (r = .77), and good criterion validity with one clinical measure (mean tactile response).

Conclusions: The present study extends the excellent validity and reliability of the DHEQ as a measure of OHQoL in relation to dentine hypersensitivity, and indicates preliminary responsiveness to change in dentine hypersensitivity status over time in clinical trials of anti-sensitivity treatments.


This study was funded by Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare

IADR/AADR/CADR General Session
2013 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session (Seattle, Washington)
Seattle, Washington
Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research
  • Baker, Sarah R.  ( University of Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, N/A, England )
  • Sufi, Farzana  ( GlaxoSmithKline, Consumer Healthcare, Weybridge, , England )
  • Jeffery, Pete  ( GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare R&D, Weybridge - Surrey, , England )
  • Barlow, Ashley  ( GlaxoSmithKline, Surrey, N/A, England )
  • Mason, Steve  ( GlaxoSmithKline, Surrey, N/A, England )
  • Gibson, Barry  ( University of Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, , England )
  • Robinson, Peter  ( University of Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, N/A, England )
  • Oral Session
    Psychometric Properties and Methodological Considerations in Quality-of-Life Research [EDUCATOR TRACK]