The purpose of this paper is to review available evidence to determine the impact of the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQL) Model for Dental Hygiene on education, research, and practice.


A search was conducted in PubMed using the search terms oral health-related quality of life, OHRQL, and dental hygiene and limited to publications between 1998 and 2016. Google Scholar was also used to identify citations for the two original OHRQL model papers to capture the literature widely read by practicing dental hygienists but not indexed in PubMed. A total of 40 publications met the predetermined search strategy. Full publications were obtained and reviewed to determine how this research is being used in education, research, and practice.


The OHRQL is being utilized to a very limited degree in education, research, and practice. The literature shows how the OHRQL is actively being used in the school where the model originated in addition to a dental hygiene programme in Japan. Studies have been conducted on a variety of research instruments, including the OHRQL, designed to capture OHRQL outcomes. Japanese researchers have used the OHRQL in studies designed to determine the impact of oral healthcare delivery on patients’ oral health-related quality of life.


Eighteen years of the literature confirms that the OHRQL is being used minimally in education, research, and practice. Greater emphasis is needed around the collection and assessment of oral health-related quality of life measures for providing patient-centred care.

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